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Local resident brings joy to children in homeless shelter

echo santa .jpg
Posted at 10:46 PM, Dec 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-26 03:26:34-05

A local resident is bringing Christmas joy to children in a homeless shelter.

In 2016, Matthew Navarrete and his family lived in an El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) shelter for six months.

Navarrete is now looking to give back to those in need as the manager of ECHO.

“Right now, I can say that each kid we’re going to see is going to get a gift tonight. Just bringing the joy of Christmas to everyone, that’s what we’re trying to do right now. Giving everyone hope," said Navarrete.

Through the help of donations, Navarrete and the ECHO team are providing Christmas gifts to all the children living in the shelter.

“Having the opportunity to dress up as Santa, it means a lot. I am very excited to do it. When they asked me to do it, I didn’t hesitate. I jumped on it," said Navarrete.

“One thing I can say about my husband is that he has a heart of gold. This isn’t just a job for him, this is something he loves to do," said Miriam Navarrete.

Navarrete's passion and dedication for his job extends to his children.

“They look up to their dad a lot," said Miriam Navarrete.

Working on Christmas day isn’t something new for Navarrete as he helps every year during this time.

“It doesn’t matter if it means he needs to go in and patch up dry walls or give out gifts, he is going to do it and I love that," said ECHO Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Abgail Hanley-Cox.

Navarrete says he is hoping to make this a Christmas tradition every year and give the children moments of joy and hope.