A man I know, a retired school principal, approached me at my gym over the weekend with sadness in his eyes.
"At my age, I have seen a lot of terrible things and have been able to handle it," he said. "Not this one."
We've all been impacted by the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Ct. What we all need during this holiday season is assurances that the good far outnumbers the bad in today's society. Here is an example to that.
I often write in this space about Glendora resident Vicki Brown and and her five-year-old charitable organizaton, Sowing Seeds for Life, because I known Vicki and see first-hand what Sowing Seeds for Life, or SSFL, does in feeding and helping the needy in the East San Gabriel. I wish I could do more.
SSFL is at it again with one of its biggests events of the year. SSFL's second Christmas food and toy giveaway will be held Wednesday beginning at noon in the parking lot of DPI Labs, 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne.
Vicki, who is also the CEO of DPI Labs, said her group has more than 500 toys to give to children, who can also get a printed photo with Santa Claus and a candy cane.
Many of the toys come from a toy drive organized by the University of La Verne’s Enactus Club (formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE), which is headed by business management professor Issam Ghazzai. Damien High School also conducted a toy drive for this event, as did the Toys For Tots Foundation, Spark of Life, which involves local firefighters, and the United Methodist Church.
The food pantry giveaway will include a special bounty for the holidays – chicken, pork patties, sausage, water, canned good, fresh produce, breads, cereal, yogurt, beans, chocolates and other foods, plus personal care items donated by Target.
Nestle is providing a truckload of bottled water and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is bringing in two truckloads of food. Other sponsors and donors include Wells Fargo Bank, Von’s, Panera Bread, Food 4 Less and Madi-K Give Back 2 God.
The many volunteers working the event will include students from the University of La Verne, Damien High and other local schools. The Pomona Catholic High Music Club will provide entertainment.
SSFL, which puts on food pantries for the needy twice a month at DPI Labs, held its annual "Christmas in the Park" food and toy giveaway Dec. 2 at Ganesha Park in Pomona. More than 400 families showed up at that event.
La Verne city officials, including Brian McNerney, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, are officials from neighboring cities as well, are expected to take part.
“This is the greatest community support we have ever had,” Vicki said.
And that is that is what the Christmas spirit is all about.