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Valley Focus | Pacoima

Spirit of Generosity Serves Dual Purpose

April 06, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

The mother of an Iranian immigrant family wanted to teach her offspring about the value of sharing with other children who are less fortunate.

To do so, the Santa Monica woman brought her son, 18, daughter, 10, and about 110 toys to the San Fernando Gardens Community Center in Pacoima on Sunday.

"For Persian New Year, March 20, we usually give away a few toys to some kids," said the mother, who requested anonymity. "This year, we wanted to give more toys to more children."

Those toys now belong to the children of San Fernando Gardens, a housing community for low-income families.

"I want to make the children happy and also to teach my kids to be generous, responsible and friendly," said the mother.

The more than 100 recipients of the toys seemed pretty happy.

"This is like a Christmas for the children," said Mario Matute, director of the center. "I have no words to express my appreciation for [the donor]."

Angela Escamilla, 9, who was first in line, selected a jar filled with water and two goldfish.

"It's because I love fishes," she said.

Another satisfied child was Edith Bedolla, 11, who took home a stuffed dog.

"I thank them very much," said a smiling Edith, as she carried her new brown-and-white spotted toy out the door.

Matute said the toy benefactor contacted him a few weeks ago about donating to the children of the center.

From 11 a.m. to noon, Matute and his son, Aaron, 6, passed out the toys to the children on a first-come, first-served basis.

Although most of the toys were bought by the Santa Monica woman, her daughter and Matute's son gave some of their own playthings away as well.

"Last Monday was his birthday and he received 15 toys," Matute said. "He decided to give about half of those to the kids."

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