Employees from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are celebrating the holidays again this year by giving. Thirty-seven needy Yolo County children and five adults will find a few more treasures under their Christmas trees this year thanks to these USDA “Secret Santas.”
Each year, employees from USDA in Davis volunteer to participate in the Adopt-A-Child-For-Christmas Program, sponsored by the Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services. The program benefits children from infancy to young adulthood in foster care, as well as low-income families and individuals.
Volunteers are provided with the child’s age and gender, plus a few holiday wishes they would like fulfilled. Then the fun really begins when the “Santas” jump into action.
“Playing Santa for a needy child and letting parents and foster parents know we care is the best present I can give myself each year,” said Marina Barajas, who has coordinated USDA’s participation in the program for 21 years. “The holidays are such a joyous time. We just want to spread a little happiness out into our community to help those in need.”
Toys, clothing and other items were donated by several USDA agencies: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Risk Management and the Office of Inspector General.