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Ways to be a ‘Valley Elf’ and help out your community this Christmas season


It’s the season of giving and now that we’re just two days away from Christmas there’s still plenty of opportunities for us to give back to our community.

News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay explains some of the ways we can be “valley elves.”

“If you’re more fortunate than other people try to give back to your community, just bless people this year,” Elizabeth Rigmaiden said.

16-year-old Rigmaiden chose to give back to her community by bringing Christmas cheer to her neighborhood toy drive.

“I would encourage anyone to just do what they can, just make people smile, volunteer wherever you can, or just reach out to family and friends,” Rigmaiden said.

There are still many ways we can contribute to those in need.

“You know people can contribute in a couple of different ways, one is through gift cards in particular, gift cards for groceries, or for drug stores," Gregory Bradbard said.

Bradbard is the president of Hope Through Housing. He said senior homes could use some joy this year.

“Even donations of exercise videos, adult coloring books, puzzles, those things to help keep our residents active while staying at home,” he said.

Or, he said you could even drop off a Christmas card for a senior, service member or essential worker.

“Not just a Christmas or holiday card but even throughout the year just notes of encouragement to our residents are great just to have someone from our community saying, 'I’m thinking of you, praying for you,' or whatever that message might be just to give them a little hope,” he said.

Cathedral Palms Senior Apartments is one place taking donations like these up until noon on Christmas Eve. They are located at: 31-750 Landau Blvd, Cathedral City, CA 92234

The California Highway Patrol is still collecting toys at their Indio location until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve located at: 79650 Varner Rd, Indio, CA 92203

“Being with everything families have been going through it’s nice to lend that helping hand and bring smiles to those faces,” Jackie Quintero said. She's the Public Information Officer for the California Highway Patrol.

The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission is still in need of more donations like pies and dinner rolls for their Christmas dinners. You can drop those off at their Indio location: 47470 Van Buren St, Indio, CA 92201.

Team Mom is collecting toys and visa gift cards for people in need until Christmas Eve. You can drop those off at Sushi Bella at 13440 Palm Dr, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Here are other ways to spread kindness this Christmas:

  1. Leave an anonymous gift on someone’s doorstep
  2. Do something kind and anonymous for someone you live with
  3. Call a family member you haven’t spoken with in a while
  4. Send flowers to someone
  5. Donate to an animal shelter
  6. Put $5 in someone’s windshield
  7. Give a sincere compliment
  8. Hide a few dollar bills for people to find at the dollar store
  9. Pick up five pieces of litter
  10. Pay for the person behind you in line at the drive-through

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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