Invoking the Spirit of Unity and Thanksgiving
By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Winter Wonderland has become a fixture in Wilmington over the past 11 years. The Banning Museum transports guests to Christmas in the Victorian era, back when Los Angeles was smaller and its thoroughfares were filled with horses and buggies, and women were wearing big hoop skirts, and men actually practiced gentlemanly manners.
For more than a decade, the Port of Los Angeles has trucked in 20 tons of snow to Bayview Park, then the Wilmington Waterfront Park for children, mostly younger than 12, to play in.
Visitors are treated to period entertainment, museum tours and decorated holiday splendor. In years past, a Queen Victoria era reenactor would receive guests for the two days and Jolly St. Nick would pose for photos with the children. This year, nearly 4,000 visitors enjoyed a walk through of the decorated mansion, trolley rides to the Drum Barracks, children’s crafts and more.
Then there’s the Wilmington Christmas parade with locally constructed floats and participants drawn from the immediate civic community such as schools, faith communities, social service organizations, civic groups and local businesses.
The degree of participation of local businesses and civic organizations goes a long way in community building, Lines of communication and understanding are opened when community members give of themselves to each other.
The non-profit organization, A Needy Wilmington, has exemplified that spirit for about as long as there has been a Winter Wonderland in Wilmington.
This past year, A Needy Wilmington has spearheaded efforts to support students and their families in need at Phineas Banning High School.
A Needy Wilmington launched the campaign, Operation Pilot Wheel/Adopt a Pilot three years ago. It collects clothing, food, toiletries, blankets, sheets, pillowcases and bath towels. A Needy Wilmington became a 501 (c)3 nonprofit and is able to accept monetary donations.
Each of the past three years, Los Angeles Homeless Services has counted fewer unsheltered people in Wilmington. In response, Wilmington’s civic community, local businesses, faith communities, students, families and individuals are banding together to give a hand up people living in cars, motels or circumstances that have them crammed into a single dwelling with multiple families.
There are students with families from Banning High School who are in need of assistance to get through this difficult voyage. They are all in need of help of anything you can give. Monetary donations, gift cards are welcomed. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 15. The drop off location is:
Maya Mexican Restaurant —401 N. Avalon Blvd., Wilmington
When making inquiries, be sure to mention Operation Pilot Wheel/ Adopt A Pilot. Only items that have been gently used, laundered and are size specific will be accepted. They cannot accept closet or cupboard, pantry items due to their size, disposal, ability to store and/or health safety and liability issues.
Monetary donations can be made to A Needy Wilmington (ANW). It’s a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. That means your donation is tax deductible. The California Entity number is: C3957955 and their Federal Tax ID is 82-355-1385.
Place a check in an envelope with your name on it, or give as a secret donor and drop the envelope off at Maya Mexican Restaurant.
You can also donate to A Needy Wilmington through:
Cash app: aneedywilmington