The Visalia Emergency Aide Council’s 21st Annual Stocking Drive is underway for Christmas 2020. Due to the pandemic this year Christmas will be very different for everyone. Families are signing up and being screened for the annual distribution that will take place on December 17, 2020. Children are excitedly waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus and receiving their first ever stocking filled full of special surprises. The families are amazed that individuals they don’t know, and will probably never meet, took the time to fill a stocking for their special child.
This year V.E.A.C. is hoping to collect 1000 stockings for children ages newborn to 12 years of age. This is the 21st year that they have collected stockings for the children that are served by the Visalia Unified School District. Tulare County currently has 45% of its children living under the national poverty line. Due to the Pandemic this has increased this year, from the previous high of 35% of Tulare County children living under the poverty line. Many of these families are served by The Visalia Emergency Aide Council.
Stocking stuffers or monetary donations can be delivered to the Visalia Emergency Aid at 217 NE 3rd Ave, Visalia. Hours vary during the holiday season. Please mark your items that are for the Stocking Drive.
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Sydney, who are members of the Visalia Breakfast Rotary Club, have generously purchased 1,000 stockings for this year’s annual stocking drive. California Dairies has also donated special items to be placed this year in the new stockings. We now need additional stocking stuffers and cash donations in order to purchase items to fill the 1,000 new stockings. Stocking stuffers need to be received by December 16, 2020. The Visalia Emergency Aide Council is a 501(c) 3 non-profit, and all donations to them are tax deductible.
Some suggested items that can be used to fill stockings are: Small pieces of jewelry, items for dress up, nail polish, gift cards, wallets, socks, scarf’s, mittens, knit caps, slippers, handmade items, games, kites, coloring books, workbooks, pens, pencils, drawing pads, crayons, watercolor sets, construction paper, reading books, craft books, playing cards, dominos, pick up sticks, blocks, board games, novels for all ages, small electronic games, jump ropes, small balls, washable markers, (no permanent markers), dolls, stuffed toys, plastic action figures, tooth and hair brushes, baby items i.e. sleepers, bottles, rattles, teething rings etc. The children genuinely love their stockings and appreciate all gifts.
Please no true red or true blue clothing items or anything with a team logo or Looney Tune characters due to the gang problem. Please no toy guns or knives as VEAC does not want to be responsible for someone being hurt because a toy is mistaken for the real thing.
Need more information? Please call Kathleen, “The Stocking Lady”, at 734-6510. No answer? Please leave a message and she will call you back. No contact pick up of items that you wish to donate can also be arranged. Many, many thanks to all who have helped with this project throughout these 21 years. You have brightened the lives of so many children, and given them special memories that will stay with them the rest of their lives.