While the many local schools close for the holidays the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton continued opening its doors for during the winter break. “At the Boys and girls club the two weeks of the winter break are used to plan special events such as roller skating or visits from Santa,” said Anthony Silva Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club.
“We have about 80 kids on any given day,” said Silva, “some of the kids are from around the neighborhood and every day we go and pick up a van full of kids from the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless.”
Among the many kids, who waited in line patiently to receive a present and to take a picture with Santa, was five-year-old Mark Berrihill. “This year I asked to get a red car,” said Berrihill after taking his picture with Santa.
The majority of the gifts are donated, “A local church donated some of the presents and then we went to buy the rest,” said Silva. The donated gifts gave the kids and families something they wouldn’t otherwise have at this time of year.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Stockton is a not-for-profit agency that operates 25 different locations throughout the Stockton area —many of the clubs serve as after school programs throughout the Stockton Unified School District.