The Aguirre family has finally started to smile again,but it's been a rough month. Mom, Maria, died on Dec 9th at the age of 43 after a three year battle with breast cancer. No money for a funeral. As Dad has lost his part time construction work and the four kids were looking at Christmas without much in the way of presents.
Then, help arrived.. big time. The school, the Police Dept, neighbors, and others heard about this family's plight and donated money, presents, a tree, enough to give the kids a holiday they deserve. I spent part of the afternoon with the kids, ages 6, 10, 13 and 14, and they were trying to be brave while a huge photo of their Mom sat side by side with the presents on the floor next to the tree in their tiny apartment.
Alejandro, the oldest, was happy for his little sister. That little one, Kassandra, was thrilled to have her first Barbie and a Hello Kitty bike! Wow. The community of El Monte has been doing an annual Christmas giveaway and toy drive for literally 31 years. This past Saturday they gave away more than 800 boxes of food and toys. They brought some over to the Aguirre family as well. It's safe to say being able to help all of them at this time of the year, after such a terrible loss was one of the most rewarding parts of any one of those in the past 31. If you want to donate, just contact the El Monte police dept and they'll give you the info for the fund at the local credit union.