Southern California paid it forward this Thanksgiving with a Non-Profit Organization called Families Forward, a program committed to helping local Orange County families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They had an excellent turnout collecting over 100 cans and $400 worth of grocery store gift cards helping families purchase their own turkeys and produce for Thanksgiving and future grocery shopping. As Christmas approaches, SoCal is participating in Adopt-A-Family, while NorCal is hosting a Union Food and Toy Drive. Southern California has adopted 6 different families, each with 4-6 people. Many are single mothers taking care of 2-3 kids. Each family provided a list of what they wish their children could receive for Christmas such as toys, video games, dolls, and most importantly clothes. The families provide all of the clothing and shoe sizes for each child. Below is a photo of SoCal's christmas tree in their lobby with decorative ornaments labeled with a list of items each child would like to receive. Each child also has an ornament with a request of a $25 gift card, so the parent(s) may buy their own personal gift for their child. All employees are welcome to participate in the spirit of giving this Christmas and sign up for selected items for any of the children in our adopted families. We also encourage partnering up with a group of people to insure that each child gets everything they have asked on their lists. Northern California is encouraged to donate non-perishable, high protein canned food such as tuna, peanut butter, stew, soup, pasta, vegetables and fruit. Our toy drive will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages by December 11th. Keep in mind older children and young teens for Christmas, as well. Suggested items include cd's, boxed games, soccer balls, footballs, etc. The San Mateo Country Central Labor Council will be hosting this Food and Toy Drive and plans to distribute toys to at least 350 children this Christmas. Checks can also be made payable to SMCUCA Food Drive.