East County News Service
December 20, 2020 (Alpine) – Alpine real estate broker Jeff Campbell of San Diego Estates is celebrating his 22nd annual Gift Bag Drive, a holiday collection drive benefiting several local charities.
More than 25 businesses in Alpine, including banks, retail stores, insurance offices and coffee shops, have hosted collection bins where residents have donated nonperishable canned food items, personal hygiene items and unwrapped children’s toys beginning in mid-November, said Campbell. New this year has been a donation of several hundred jackets, shirts and hoodies from an El Centro-based embroidery company that closed its doors.
Campbell said the deadline for donations is Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Donations also can be delivered to Campbell’s real estate office, 1935 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine. Nonperishable items can include canned beans, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soup, pasta, rice, spaghetti sauce, dry cereal, powdered milk, infant formula, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, hand sanitizer and wipes, bar soap, mouthwash and cough drops. Other items requested include disposable diapers, new blankets, backpacks and art supplies.
Campbell said donated items will be delivered to several San Diego-based charities, including the San Diego Rescue Mission, A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children's Center and other center serving homeless and displaced families. In addition, food items will be donated to stock local church pantries and toys will be delivered to the San Diego County Sheriffs Department and other first responders.
“The residents of Alpine are proud to support their sister communities and nonprofits down the hill,” said Campbell, who started the drive in 1998. “This has been a grass roots effort where neighbors are helping others, all from the heart, and having a significant impact. Our volunteers this year have included dozens of people from local businesses, service organizations, schools and nearby churches. We thought the events of 2020 would diminish our efforts this year, but, instead, we have received more donations compared to any previous year.”
Campbell said previous holiday campaigns have benefited low-income residents of Alpine and nearby Mountain Empire communities with front door food drop-offs, which were not possible this year due to Covid-related restrictions.
Previous recipients benefiting from Campbell’s drive have included military families, students, displaced wildfire and hurricane victims. “We have focused our efforts on wherever the need is during a particular year,” Campbell said.