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City employees give back to community

CARLSBAD — Teddy bears, gifts, food and cash donations are making this holiday season brighter for many members of the community thanks to charitable donations by city of Carlsbad staff.
A recent United Way campaign, led by city staff, received more than $19,000 in contributions this year. Don Wasko, a public works superintendent for the city, said that this year a committee of city employees also started a food drive, receiving more than 900 food items. The food raised from the campaign will go to Angel’s Depot, helping local seniors and others in need.
The city also organizes an annual canned food drive led by Joe Pimentel of the city’s Parks & Recreation department. More than 400 cans of food for were gathered for Carlsbad families during December. Food collected goes to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church to feed local families in Carlsbad.
The City Manager’s office, Property & Environmental Management and Library & Cultural Arts departments adopted families through the Carlsbad Christmas Bureau, which provides families with food and gifts for the holidays. Each of the departments collected gifts for their adopted family.
City of Carlsbad Police Department staff collected more than 300 Teddy bears — many donated by city employees — as part of the 20th annual Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive. The bears will be given to children at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Casa de Amparo and the Women’s Resource Center.
City of Carlsbad Fire Chief Kevin Crawford also gives back to the community during the year, especially during the holiday season, through his partnership with San Diego Charger Quentin Jammer’s Jammer Family Foundation and San Pasqual Academy.
Crawford, a board member of The Jammer Family Foundation, and his wife, Jolane, coordinated wrapping donated gifts and purchasing gifts with cash donations for this year’s San Pasqual High School event. San Pasqual Academy is one of the first of its kind providing foster teens with a stable, caring home, a quality, individualized education, and the skills needed for independent living.
Although the holidays are a busy time for giving back to the community, all throughout the year, Carlsbad City Library staff host a lunch and stitch program in which a group of employees donate their lunch breaks to create hats, booties and blankets. Once complete items are donated to Stitches from the Heart, providing these items to premature babies in hospitals across America.