Braving the early morning rain and cold, 416 Baldwin Park Unified students were treated to a shopping spree at Wal-Mart, receiving $80 gift cards to spend on new outfits and shoes during the 24th Annual Santa Clothes Project, held Dec. 7.
The Santa Clothes Project – a partnership between Baldwin Park Unified, the Baldwin Park Charitable Relief Organization, the City of Baldwin Park, the Baldwin Park Police Department and other local organizations – pairs students in need with volunteer chaperones, who assist the students in selecting new clothes and basic essentials.
More than 7,000 children have participated in the Santa Clothes Project since the program’s inception in 1997, with nearly $400,000 raised to brighten the holidays for Baldwin Park families. In addition to a new outfit and shoes, each child receives a toy at the end of the shopping spree.
Among the organizations who participated as volunteer chaperones were California Highway Patrol, Kaiser Permanente, Julia McNeill Senior Center, La Luzvimin Lions, SGV Habitat for Humanity, Royal Coaches Auto Body, Tafoya Law Group, Baldwin Park Women’s Club, and Living Word Church, as well as community volunteers who donated money to the Santa Clothes Project.
“This event brings the entire Baldwin Park community together and reminds us that the holiday season is all about sharing good-will with our friends and neighbors,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “We are forever grateful for the support of so many civic organizations and volunteers, who help make the project one of the most anticipated events of the year.”