More than 850 Families Get Special Deliveries for Christmas
Gila River Indian News
Gila River Indian Community’s Department of Community Housing (DCH) and the Gila River Police Department (GRPD) ensured that 856 children and their families throughout the Community received Christmas gifts last Dec.
First, GRPD collected donations for children at their facility in Sacaton for DCH to deliver to the children and families they serve, an annual tradition. An added treat is that the gifts arrived for children just in time for Christmas.
Then on Thursday, Dec. 22, families who enrolled in DCH’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) received a special visit from Lt. Gov. Monica Antone.
Lt. Gov. Antone, Amber Martinez, Housing Specialist for DCH, and Ben Notah, Assistant to Lt. Gov. loaded several children’s toys and gifts, packed an SUV, and traveled to Casa Grande and Chandler to spread some holiday cheer to families.
On this day, Lt. Gov. Antone presented toys for children of all ages. Items included notebooks, sketchpads, markers, paint, headphones, gift cards, and more to over 30 children, teens, and families temporarily housed through ERAP. In total, they served over 78 children.
ERAP, a temporary federal assistance program, was established to offer rental or utility assistance to eligible renters whom the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted.
“The great part of presenting a gift is witnessing their eyes light up, and seeing the huge smiles on their faces was a good feeling,” said Lt. Gov. Antone. “It was important for me to make them feel important by giving them gifts.”
Lt. Governor would like to thank those who donated towards this effort, including Pimmex Contracting, Toys for Tots, and the Executive offices for all the donations to make this happen. She also wanted to thank Tribal Council and Treasurer Gary Mix Jr. and DCH for extending the ERAP program. ERAP lasted two years, ending on Dec. 29, 2022.