The following was submitted by the city of Beaumont for publication:
The holiday spirit of giving in Beaumont
Whether it’s the sparkling eyes of a deserving child opening a Christmas gift or the whole family bundled up and enjoying the Christmas Light Parade, the wonders of the holiday season abound.
Each year during the holiday season, the people of Beaumont join hands and remember those in need at this very special time.
“For 100 years, we have been a very giving people,” Mayor Roger Berg remarked. “In the old days, a farmer helped his neighbor harvest crops. Today, we roll up our sleeves and help our neighbors in new ways.”
A generous spirit
In Beaumont, the spirit of giving helps deserving friends and neighbors in so many ways. There are toy drives, food drives, diaper drives, shopping sprees for the young, and gifts for seniors. We donate and volunteer for programs like Winter Wish, Shop With A Hero, Spark of Love Toy Drive, and many admirable causes supported by the Beaumont Charitable Foundation. (The city’s non-profit foundation was created in 2009 and has donated more than $100,000 to charity so far.)
In tune with the holiday spirit, we also enjoy festive events like the Christmas Light Parade where hometown floats make their way along Palm Avenue to the Beaumont Civic Center. Following the parade, the community can enjoy hot chocolate, caroling and participate in a Christmas tree raffle. At Winterfest, we can slide down a snow hill, take a hayride and roast marshmallows around a fire pit and even greet Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Helping our neighbors
For more than 20 years, the Winter Wish program has helped deserving Beaumont Unified School District youngsters receive toys and clothing at Christmas time. The whole community gets involved by picking up gift tags at the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and local businesses and wrapping up the presents. Those gifts are distributed to families by Winter Wish volunteers. In 2011, Winter Wish delivered gifts to 750 youngsters and set an all-time record, said Chairperson Donna Franco.
The city of Beaumont strongly supports the Winter Wish program and this year its employees will be helping four deserving families.
“It tugs at your heartstrings when the kids ask for something like a winter coat,” said Kari Mendoza, Support Services Director at the Beaumont Police Department.
Beaumont firefighters and the city have joined together to collect food for Winter Wish families and toys for the Spark of Love Toy Drive.
Similar to Winter Wish, the Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center will host a “Secret Senior Santa” program. Tags will be available with what each senior would like for Christmas. Wrapped gifts will be collected and distributed to seniors in need in the Pass area.
Miss Beaumont and her Court will be sponsoring a Diaper Drive to benefit Childhelp Merv Griffin Village. All sizes are welcome, newborn to pull-ups!
With the help of local businesses and city employees, about two dozen children will participate in the “Shop With A Hero” program this year. These deserving youngsters, each joined by a police officer, firefighter, teacher or community member, will receive $100 in donations to purchase gifts at Wal-Mart in Beaumont.
Youngsters whose mothers are staying at the New Hope recovery center will be treated to a Christmas party at City Hall, including gifts and a visit from Santa Claus.
So please join us during the holidays and make the season even brighter by giving back to Beaumont and our neighbors!
Calendar of events
- Diaper Drive: Benefitting Childhelp Merv Griffin Village. When: Ends on Dec. 3. Where: Diapers may be dropped off at the Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center, 1310 Oak Valley Parkway, Beaumont.
- Winterfest: When: Nov. 30-Dec. 1: An old-fashioned country Christmas for the family at the Cherry Valley Grange Community Center, 10478 Beaumont Ave. Admission: $3 (free for children under three) Hours: Nov. 30: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 1: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Spark of Love Toy Drive: Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire/Beaumont Fire Department will seek donations of new, unwrapped toys. When: Dec. 1-2. Where: Wal-Mart, 1540 E. 2nd St., Beaumont. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Winter Wish Food Drive: The city of Beaumont, along with the Beaumont Fire Department, will collect non-perishable food items for deserving families. When: Dec. 1. Where: Wal-Mart, 1540 E. 2nd Street, Beaumont. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Holiday Craft Fair by the Beaumont Senior Center: When: Dec. 15. Where: Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. 6th St. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Christmas Light Parade: A hometown holiday parade featuring floats, marching bands and old-time fire engines. Parade ends with hot chocolate and caroling at the Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. 6th. St. When: Dec. 15. Where: Palm Avenue and 12th Street. Start time: 6 p.m.
- Christmas Tree Lane Raffle: A raffle fundraiser for the Beaumont Charitable Foundation. Christmas trees with restaurant gift certificates, athletic equipment, and electronic gadgets will be raffled off. When: Dec. 15. Where: Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. 6th St. Time: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.