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Center needs your help

Posted: 4:52 PM, Dec 18, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-18 18:42:12-05

Hundreds of Palm Beach County children could be without gifts for the holidays. The Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth is scrambling for toys after a donor pulled out at the last minute.

The thought of Christmas makes 3-year-old Cynthia smile. She wants new shoes and anything from the movie Frozen.

"I'm a little bit sad," said her mom, Olga Perez. "I can't give what the children is asking to me."

Perez works several jobs just to make ends meet.

"What I find, I'm planting flowers with my husband, [laying down] the mulch, wherever, cleaning," explained Perez.

But there's little left over. "If we have extra money, we buy just a little pair of shoes," she said. "That's it."

And nothing this year for Christmas, "[If] we spend for gifts [then] we can't pay the rent," said Perez. "Where are we going to live, in the park? We can't."

She's hoping the Guatemalan-Maya Center can provide a gift for little Cynthia.

"It's a big problem," said Mara Martinez, an outreach worker at the center. "We don't have more resources, where to get more gifts."

One of the center's biggest donors pulled out last minute. Leaving volunteers scrambling.

"Whatever the need is, we have to go outside now and knock on doors, and ask for help," explained Martinez.

Help for the center's more than 200 families in need. Mostly those who walk in for legal aid, access to healthcare and problems with domestic abuse.

"They come here to work so hard, especially farm workers," said Martinez. "We need to help them."

As donations came in throughout the day, volunteers are hoping that by Christmas, they won't have to turn any child away.

If you would like to help the Guatemalan-Maya Center, drop of toys or monetary donations at the center, 430 North G Street, Lake Worth. You can also call Mara Martinez at (561) 713-6414.

You can also drop off toys and gifts at the the center's Christmas picnic Saturday. It will be at John Prince Park in the Center Pavilion at 9:30 a.m.