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Dear Readers, 

December 1, 2008 (La Mesa) — The East County Toy & Food Drive was founded 33 years ago by Stony Stone and a group of local businessmen to make the holidays brighter for children in need.

This year, your help is needed more than ever.  Stony suffered a serious health crisis several weeks ago and remains in rehabilitation.  His illness falls in a year when more children than ever need help.  Amid these tough economic times, many families have lost homes or jobs.  Some can't afford to put food on the table. 

Know a needy family?  Get help, sign up to volunteer, or find out where to donate toys and food here: www.ectfd.org/4815.html.  There are many in our community who need help--or just a friend to spend time with--this holiday season.  Many older people are alone, because their children can't afford to travel.  As we reported last month, hunger is rising in East County--and many families can't afford to put food on the table.

Perhaps you can volunteer at a local food bank or homeless shelter, as President-elect Barack Obama did over Thanksgiving.  If you pass a homeless person, stop a moment and listen to their story.  Charities are short of donations in these hard times so please, help if you can.  

Our own holidays this season are tinged by loss.  Over Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law passed away.  Our family also deeply misses my father, who died in March.  Both lived full and rich lives, giving and sharing their wit and wisdom with those they loved.
Please take time out to spend with those you love, and tell them how much you appreciate them. 

Miriam Raftery, Editor
East County Magazine

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