One of the most recent acts of kindness was the gift of coffee and donuts given to teachers and administrators of the Holtville Unified School District. This was a joint effort of the Holtville Fire Department and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. Fire Chief Alex Silva wanted to show teachers that they are appreciated. Holtville City Manager Alex Meyerhoff said they couldn’t have done it without generous donations from Donut Avenue and 7-Eleven.
Capt. Jerry Esqueda, of The Salvation Army, said he is most frequently asked for food. Food baskets are given away Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday through Friday they serve meals for up to 100 people. Thanksgiving they served 1,916 turkey dinners, and 400 to-go trays for those who couldn’t get out. Christmas day they served hundreds of people at Adams Avenue Park.
Concerned about a current issue? Want to share your point of view? We want to hear from you. Send a letter to the Editor. Click here!
The Salvation Army Hospitality House is open from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m. five days a week. Three days a week men can shower and get clean clothes there. Tuesday and Thursdays it is open for women. Those using the facility are invited to relax while they are there, and read or watch a movie if they wish.
When I asked if anyone locally had ever put a gold coin in one of the familiar red buckets The Salvation Army puts out at Christmas, Capt. Esqueda replied: “that mainly happens back East, here we look at every penny as a gold coin. They add up so that we can buy the big sack of beans, and eggs we need.”
The local Salvation Army has only three full-time employees, and a few who work part-time. The charity has sites in El Centro and Brawley. They are now looking for a site in Calexico.
Sunday was a very special time for the family of Dale and Barbara Hunt of El Centro. They were at Calvary Chapel in El Centro as they are every Sunday. The usual announcement to turn off all cellphones had just been made before the sermon. Pastor Pete Mallinger apparently had not shut off his cell phone. It rang a few seconds after the announcement. Pastor Pete answered the phone and said, “Yes, I’ll take a collect call from Afghanistan.” He quickly told Dale Hunt that the call was for him, and handed him the phone, and he heard the voice of his son, Staff Sgt. Todd Hunt.
When he turned around he saw Todd and his two sons, Micah and Ethan, coming down the aisle.
The Hunt family, and the Calvary Chapel congregation were bowled over. Dale Hunt, a 21-year Navy veteran, said he had been blessed way beyond measure, “much more than I deserved.” Staff Sgt. Hunt will be returning to Afghanistan in January.
Pastor Pete said the plan to surprise Todd’s parents had been in the works for nearly three months, and no word got out about it.
Shilo Dickerson, a Ranger in the U.S. Army, was also in church for the first time since he finished his tour in Afghanistan. His parents are Breck and Francisca Dickerson. They had recently attended his “homecoming” at Fort Carson, Colo., during the latter part of November, and were happy to have him home for a time. He has another year in the Army. Both Todd and Shilo were given standing ovations from the church. This is a most happy time for two local families.