SOLANA BEACH — The Solana Beach Child Development Center organized a food drive providing turkey dinners to more than 40 families that have children in Harmonium’s Prime Time programs at Chavez, Baker, Marshall and Perkins Elementary Schools in South San Diego. The program was started up by Kelly Johnston of the Solana Beach CDC who in the mid 1990s managed one of Harmonium’s Child Care Centers.
Johnston created a Day Care to Day Care relationship where a Solana Beach School is matched with a Harmonium Prime Time site. They then collect food items for 10 families or more at that school. For 11 years, beginning Nov. 1, collection boxes are set out at Solana Beach school sites. The week before Thanksgiving, Johnston’s team, along with Harmonium staff headed by Miguel Ortega, consolidate all the donations and sort them for even distribution.
This year Harmonium reached out to its Klassic Kids Child Care parents and agency staff. The families are selected in consultation with the principals of the schools to determine families who have the greatest need. Arrangements are then made to personally present the food boxes to the selected families.
In addition to this annual Turkey Drive, Solana Beach CDC also conducts a toy drive to the same schools and every child in all four schools receives a gift from Santa in person just before the children take their holiday vacations.
Harmonium, a nonprofit agency that has been serving children and families in San Diego County since 1975, offered thanks to Kelly Johnston and her helpers Angelo Dentoni, Beth Hendershot, and Diana Escalera and all the Solana Beach contributors.