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Chicanos Por La Causa, Food City Host Holiday Celebration for Arizona Families

PHOENIX — This weekend Chicanos Por La Causa and Food City, among other community sponsors, hosted a holiday celebration for thousands of Arizona kids and their families.   The holiday event is called Angeles del Barrio, or Angels of the neighborhood, and was created to ensure every kid can experience holiday cheer, regardless of their family’s financial situation.

Hundreds of families lined El Reposo Park in Phoenix Saturday morning to attend the 55th annual free community event, including Daniela Reyes and her daughters.  Reyes said she and her daughters, 9-year-old Bella and 6-year-old Hannia, were excited about presents, visiting with Santa and being able to spend time with family. 

“Everything has been on the rise, like groceries, rent and everything, so we’re actually really excited to see and to come to this event,” Reyes said.

“It feels awesome, because my cousins are here, and they can enjoy the time,” said Bella.  

At the event, families got the chance to get free toys and stockings filled with goodies, something Celina Rojas took advantage of for her one-month-old daughter.

“It helps a lot because I can’t really buy my kids any presents,” Rojas said. 

Families also were able to get essential health checkups, take pictures with Santa and visit with Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and Big Red. Valley organization Chicanos Por La Causa teamed up with Food City and other community sponsors to make all the magic happen. 

“It represents our culture, our family values, and then just a way to get together and celebrate Christmas,” Alicia Nunez, interim president and CEO for Chicanos Por La Causa, said.

 Nunez has been a part of the event for 17 years and has seen the impact of Angeles del Barrio.

“For me, it’s the smile a toy brings to their faces,” she said. “A lot of them don’t get to celebrate Christmas or families may not be able to provide them a toy.” 

The kids’ reactions bring joy to not only their families and friends, but also to the volunteers.  Mike Solis, Food City’s senior director of operations, said being a part of an event like this is something he always looks forward to. 

“Nothing’s more special than seeing a child’s laughter when they get something special in their hands,” he said.

Source: 12News