H-SANTA MARIA

Nov 22, 2013 3:29 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

Santa Marians rise to the occasion for Season of Hope

Sometimes things turn out better than you expect and that was the case in Santa Maria last night.

I was sent out on a live shot for the Season of Hope Campaign at the KSBY studios in Santa Maria. When I got there, there was the great crew of Dan and Soladad from Toys for Tots, Darlene from the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, and Maria and Sam from Salvation Army. What was not there was any kind of donation. The big barrels before us were empty. I mean empty. And with just a few minutes to our first live shot, there was no sign of anyone coming by with a donation. I admit it, I was worried.

So, when I told the truth during our first live shot during our 5 p.m. news, I knew it could be an embarrassing second live shot at 6 p.m. What if no one came by? I need not worry.

Before 5:30 the first of Santa's helpers came by with a bag of toys. He bopped in and bopped out just like Santa, not wanting to be on T.V. or needing any thanks of any sort. He was the start of a steady stream of people over the next hour and a half who saw the first live shot and said "Not in my backyard." They weren't about to see the donation sites in their community without donations, so they got up off the couch, in some cases got the kids dressed and rushed out the door to the nearest place they could pickup some non-perishable food or toys or both.

By 6:40 p.m. the toy barrels were over-flowing. The food barrel had almost 130 pounds of food. And I had a few checks in my hot little hand to donate to the campaign.

I arrived at our Santa Maria studios disappointed and worried. I left with a heart full of joy and gratitude. Because the people who showed up at that Season of Hope appearance certainly renewed my hope that those who would otherwise do without this holiday season in our community, won't have to. Not with the kind of people I had the pleasure of meeting last night in Santa Maria.

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