Christmas magic at Manna House

To reach Manna House on Monday, a little hiking was in order. Vehicles overflowed into the parking lot of the Yosemite New Life Nazarene Church and down Junction Drive. Those in need began lining up at 6:30 a.m., in anticipation of the doors opening at 10.

Raley’s, Vons, and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market donated food items, including turkeys, chickens, and hams. Non-perishables of breads, desserts, mashed potatoes, yams, dressing and gravy made for the perfect traditional sides.

Toys for Tots provided more than 1,500 toys, and Santa’s elves temporarily left their post at the North Pole to transform the clothing department into a magical toy shop.

Christina Heath of Coarsegold was looking for the perfect items for her two grandchildren. Fernando Lopez of Oakhurst toy shopped for his five children, with the help of elf Jill Thomas. Nina Reed of Oakhurst selected food items for her family of four, saying how grateful she was for Manna House during these hard economic times.

“There are more in need this year,” Bruce Bartlett, manager said. “Seventy-five more families signed up for food this year compared to last year, and 100 more signed up for toys. The rest of California’s economy may be getting better, but Oakhurst is always a little slow to recover.”

“There’s not just one person responsible for this event,” executive director Tom Nicolulis said, “as evidenced by the volunteers who have come to be laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, by the community that always steps-up to help us minister to those in need with dignity.”

“It’s an honor for Manna House to spread the Christmas cheer and the birth of our Savior, Jesus,” Bruce added.

Manna House an all-volunteer entity, ministers to those in need of basic living supplies all year long. It was founded in 1982 for the specific purpose of providing a Christian emergency food and clothing bank to those in need. Manna House can be found on Facebook and donations, which are tax deductible, can be made through PayPal.

Details: Manna House, (559) 683-6262.