SCE Employees Deliver Christmas Gifts to Camp Pendleton Families
Seventeen years ago, Jose Perez’s co-worker at Southern California Edison asked him to help drop off donated Christmas gifts at the Armed Services YMCA of Camp Pendleton. It’s a tradition that Perez and employees at the utility’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Clemente have continued for the past 20 years.
“It’s about family. And the Armed Services is part of our family,” said Perez, an SCE principal manager of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance. “It feels good to give back to our community. These young Marines have families and sometimes they struggle to make ends meet.”
This year, Perez once again filled his truck with Christmas gifts donated by hundreds of SCE employees — from the San Onofre nuclear plant, Blythe and the Rosemead headquarter offices — to 31 Armed Services families in need.
Each year, the military families let the SCE employees know what they need by filling out a list. These wrapped gifts are then dropped off at Camp Pendleton. Parents can also choose Christmas gifts for their kids by selecting unwrapped gifts that are also donated by the employees.
Many of the volunteers gather each year to help wrap the gifts at the San Onofre nuclear plant. The wish lists are simple. Most ask for basics like clothes and shoes. The employees then load all the gifts into trucks for the short drive to Camp Pendleton.
“It’s a natural partnership,” said Lynn Sakamoto, a project manager at the nuclear plant, noting that the plant is located on Camp Pendleton, on land leased from the U.S. Navy. Also, many of the security personnel at the plant, which is in the decommissioning process, are former military or law enforcement.
“These men and women are fighting for us. This is the least we can do,” she added.