People showed up in Downtown Fresno for a gift giveaway

December 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Kids bundled up they even wore trash bags to stay dry and warm on Christmas day waiting outside the Poverello House in Downtown Fresno. Music helped pass time for Christina Vasquez of Fresno, who brought her four kids plus nieces and nephews. She said, "This is our first time being out here. We heard from a friend of ours that they give toys for kids. We are on a tight budget this year."

Vasquez and her kids waited two hours to get inside. Once there within minutes volunteers loaded their arms with presents.

On Christmas day, it is all about the kids and being able to provide them gifts." Said Kathryn Weakland, who helped organized the giveaway of donated gifts. she said the recession is leading to more people needing help. A trend seen all over the Valley.

Last week Cornerstone church reported a surge of demand at their toy give away.

Holiday cheer was in short supply in Madera last weekend. Hundreds of people were turned away because the charity couldn't gather enough gifts. But that wasn't the case at the poverello house.

Weakland said, ":People have looked around their own lives and said on my gosh I'm so blessed. As far as gifts, we have not. Our monetary donations, absolutely that are way done."

Organizers say kids walked away full of holiday cheer and bags stuffed with presents.

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