Chelsea

Food and Toy Donations Help Thousands in Chelsea This Christmas

La Colaborativa helped provide a merry Christmas to many Chelsea families in need during the coronavirus pandemic

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Need is not always the easiest thing to see, but in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the need is apparent.

Thousands stood in the cold Wednesday, waiting for a chance to make this Christmas different.

"I have been here about two, two and a half hours," Dianne Brown said. "Out here for my grandchildren, need some extra gifts for them."

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La Colaborativa knew people would show up. It has been a rough year in Chelsea, after all, where COVID-19 case numbers remain high.

The organization expected 3,500 people Wednesday, and at least that many showed up, the line stretching more than a dozen city blocks.

For 15-year-old Brian Vicente, the donation is making all the difference.

"We weren't going to cook this year because we didn't have anything planned, but with this, the food they give us, we are going to make a meal out of it for me and my family," he said.

Gladys Vega of La Colaborativa is making sure families have a great Christmas, stocking food as well as toys for children of all ages.

"They can have a complete meal at their table, and toys for their children, so at least the little children, little child, doesn't have to know the struggle of the adults," Vega said. "It is really emotional. Every day, I have been blessed, because I have seen the humanity of the people of this commonwealth."

A city that has had a rough year is coming together to ensure a little Christmas spirit goes a long way.

"The community puts their people first instead of themselves, because they are helping out not just a few people, they are helping out a lot of people in need," Vicente said.

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