Sister Cities helping local projects

DOWNEY - The Downey Sister Cities Association, known for its affiliations with Ensenada and Guadalajara, Mexico, voted to focus on a local project this past holiday season, and chose the PTA HELPS program.In the past, DSCA has primarily worked with Mexican cities to maintain international relations and friendships. "The Association voted to help a local program this past year and Downey PTA HELPS is a valuable program," said Leonard Zuniga, president of DSCA. PTA HELPS (Health Education Local Pantry Service) works to provide temporary emergency aid to Downey families. Emergency food is distributed throughout the year, and Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets are also given. PTA HELPS also encourages drug and alcohol-free graduations by supporting local grad night celebrations. Completely run by volunteers, PTA HELPS relies on financial aid and non-perishable food donations to continue their work. The DSCA presented a financial donation to Martha Sodetani of PTA HELPS at a recent meeting. "The Downey Sister Cities Association is happy to be helping families in our own community," Zuniga said. For more information on the DSCA, call Zuniga at (562) 869-5444. PTA HELPS can be reached at (562) 861-9833. ********** Published: February 6, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 42