Small businesses help raise money for San Ysidro kids in need - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Small businesses help raise money for San Ysidro kids in need

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The season of giving is spreading all throughout San Diego County. Small businesses set up shop Saturday along the Imperial Beach Pier to help raise money and give toys to kids in need in San Ysidro.

"It's a time of year where you want to give back to the community,” said event organizer Edel Vernazza. “You want to get back to people in need."

From crocheting to food to seashell handmade decor, these businesses were decking the halls for a purpose.

"I crochet all kinds of hats and scarves and different items you know [like] cool little Pokemon things," said Tawnya Lafave of IB Crochet. 

This 2nd annual holiday bazaar benefits San Ysidro school kids in need.

CBS 8 did a special report on the community last month that struck a chord with Vernazza.

"I think San Ysidro now has… 5,000 kids, and 1,500 of those kids are homeless, that's 30% of the school district," explained Vernazza.

Many of those kids are called the invisible children, living in the shadows, often with no stable shelter.

The invisible children epidemic was news to many in the area and drove some to help.

"Community helping community,” Lafave described of the event. “And… being supportive [to] be good neighbors."

One family in need is Dominique Acevedo and her daughter Analize, who was pretty silent when the Santa on hand asked her what she wanted for Christmas.

But once he gave her a Barbie from the toy drive, this little girl lit up.

“Some people do need that extra [help] and can't buy their kids Christmas [gifts],” Dominique Acevedo said. “So I think the extra help for the toy drive to give these kids extra Christmas presents underneath the tree is really nice."

These local businesses band together for the betterment of the community.

Dropping off gifts for the toy drive and even decorating Santa's chair, Nazz Reyes of Nazz Likes To Party Supplies was all in. 

"I brought as many presents as I could give," Reyes said. 

"It's the season of giving,” said Benjamin Behrends, also of Nazz Likes To Party Supplies.  “Some people don't have the means to do it even the small things."

The big toy give away will be at the San Ysidro School District office tomorrow at 2 p.m.

If you’re interested in donating, you can contact Edel Vernazza with the San Diego Small Business Forum by emailing: sdsmallbusinessforum@gmail.com.

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