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CoastHills comes together for special holiday gift for Boys and Girls Clubs

by Joshua D. Scroggin
December 23, 2015
CAT Holiday Gift Drive 2015

More than 220 presents donated by employees and delivered to underprivileged youth in Oceano, Guadalupe, Santa Maria and Lompoc

 

Too many of the children served by our local Boys and Girls Clubs don't experience your typical Christmas celebration. Some can't afford to celebrate the holiday at all.

So, it was extra special for Jeremy L. Deming, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley, to see the young faces light up with glee when he delivered a sack of presents donated from CoastHills Credit Union employees to holiday parties at the organization's Mary Buren Elementary site in Guadalupe and its location on Railroad Ave. in Santa Maria.

“We had two different parties, one for each site," Jeremy said. "The kids really had no expectations of receiving gifts, but the fact that they walked away with a bag full of gifts and treats, that was priceless to them. The expressions on their faces were so precious, and they truly appreciated what had just happened.”

When our entire company got together for a staff meeting this past week, the CoastHills Culture Advisory Team (CAT) collected more than 220 new, unwrapped presents and gift cards for local underprivileged youth. The presents were delivered to Boys and Girls Club sites in Oceano, Guadalupe, Santa Maria and Lompoc.

It was the first time the credit union has pulled off a gift drive this big, but the idea started within the consumer loans department at the corporate headquarters in Vandenberg Village. Last year, employees in the department heard of a local homeless shelter in need of gifts for children spending the holiday there. CoastHills employees pooled their money and delivered a truck full of gifts and stuffed stockings.  

That drive inspired CAT members to think bigger this year.

“We have such dedicated and giving co-workers, we knew it would be a terrific idea to expand the concept company-wide,” said CAT co-chairperson Christina Tonoli. “We couldn’t be happier with the turnout, and it’s heartwarming to know how many kids we made a difference for this holiday season.”

All gifts were purchased and donated directly by CoastHills employees. The drive encompassed all ages but also placed a special emphasis on teens, an age group that is typically underserved in holiday gift drives.

For the Boys and Girls Clubs, it was a shining example of how our neighbors step up to help support each other, not just during the holidays but all year long.

“This community is one of the most giving, charitable communities I’ve ever had the pleasure of living and working in," Jeremy said. "CoastHills is the perfect example of that spirit of generosity and giving. It’s just a wonderful relationship that we cherish.”

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