Pictured, left to right, are Legacy Church Pastor Manuel Herrera, Legacy Church Coordinator Ana Perez, Cerra Vista School Social Worker Elizabeth Alvarez and Legacy Church Pastor Joshua Herrera. Photo: Courtesy of Hollister School District
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Students from each Hollister School District site will have a brighter holiday season due to a collaboration with Legacy Church. 

The Hollister School District partnered with Legacy after church representatives approached Social Emotional Coordinator Eliana Delgadillo asking how they could help provide donated gifts to local students in need. 

“They approached me in September and were excited about starting a new community outreach committee,” Social Emotional Coordinator Eliana Delgadillo said. “Their goal was to help families in need for the holidays. They thought the best place to start would be at the local school district.” 

The district and Legacy worked to create a program where the Social Emotional team identified a family in need to sponsor from each district site, and Delgadillo provided an anonymous list to the church outreach coordinator describing the families’ specific needs. Since it was October, the Legacy team created a pumpkin patch for giving as a way to collect donations from church members. 

Legacy Church members then picked a pumpkin that identified a family’s particular needs and donated those items.

Gifts donated by the church members ranged from an array of toys to clothes and various gift cards, and each family also received a donated turkey with sides. Social Emotional staff members delivered the items to the identified families two weeks ago. 

“With the next holiday coming up, they at least have a dinner,” Delgadillo said about the dinner aspect of the giveaway. 

She said all of the families involved were very thankful for the gifts. A private donor also helped by giving a toy to a child at each site that was donated last week, Delgadillo said. 

“I just want to highlight the fact that our Social Emotional team is constantly working with community groups to help provide our students with what they need,” Delgadillo said. “We understand for some people, the holidays can be a tough time, whether it’s emotionally or financially.” 

Ana Perez, the outreach coordinator for Legacy, recalled how the church had the themed pumpkin patch out after service when members picked a pumpkin, while some people picked multiple pumpkins. She said the minimum gift card amount donated was $25, while some went as high as $100. 

“They came through big time,” said Perez, who runs the outreach program with her husband. “Everyone was so excited to help.” 

Perez said she took home the donated items and decorated boxes for each of the families. She said Legacy is looking forward to helping local families again next year. 

“We’re hoping that this small gesture can show the families there’s hope and there are people out there who love them,” Perez said. 

Delgadillo provided the following quotes from families at each school, expressing their thanks for the gifts.

Sunnyslope: “Tell the church, ‘Thank you!’ This will help out a lot.”

Cerra Vista: “Thank you so much! We appreciate it. This will take some pressure away. We can’t thank you enough.”

HDLA: “Thank you Legacy Outreach for your generosity.”

R.O. Hardin: “Thank you very much. Our family is grateful. Happy holidays and blessings.”

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