A Pacoima charity that provides toys and food for 1,200 needy families at Christmastime has suddenly found itself without a place to accept and sort the thousands of donations it expects to receive beginning this weekend.
Marianne Haver Hill, executive director of MEND (Meet Each Need With Dignity), said volunteers were ready to move into their usual donated space at a former Gemco store in Arleta on Saturday.
But on Tuesday, she said, the agency was told by the new management of the property that space would not be available this year.
"So far, we haven't been able to find another place," Hill said. "It was donated space. We really don't have any money in our budget for that. We're hoping some caring business person will help us out."
MEND provides families with baskets containing new toys, Christmas dinner and extra food, Haver-Hill said. Donations come from churches, businesses, clubs, school groups and other community organizations.
Hill said MEND needs about 5,000 square feet for its operation, which normally begins the Saturday after Thanksgiving and continues daily until Dec. 23, when the baskets are distributed. The organization's phone number is (818) 896-0246 or (818) 897-4194.