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AMS adopts families for the holidays

The spirit of giving comes to Val Verde with toys and gifts for families

Posted: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

AMS Fulfillment elves Raul Domrique, left, and Sarah Cope, play elves during the holiday event held at the Val Verde Community Center.

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It was a touching scene in Val Verde when AMS Fulfillment employees caravanned into town with boxes of gifts to pass out to families.

While Santa Claus distributed gifts to almost 400 youth at the Val Verde Community Center, AMS Fulfillment employees adopted 28 families for Christmas.

There were smiles and hugs and tears shared as gifts were passed from one family to the other.

While the gifts made there way into family vehicles or were carried off down the street, the spirit of the occasion was resonating in the staff as they felt the true spirit of the holidays in the sharing of gifts.

Many of the youth in the area are employees at AMS through a partnership formed with the SCV Station Sheriff’s Youth Activity League.

Working with these community-spirited youth, and understanding the economic difficulties faced by many of these families inspired the AMS staff to adopt the families.

Raul Domrique, who resides in Val Verde, and Sarah Cope, two of AMS’s youngest employees dressed as elves for the event and helped pass out gifts.

The two also adopted a family.

“Being an elf for the kids is a nice gesture, but all I was there for was to see the kids smile, and for me that is better than any gift you could give or receive,” said Domrique.

Planning for the event started with a meeting with Jimmy Briano, president of the Community Benefits Funding Committee of Val Verde and Deputy Brian Rooney, the SCV Sheriff Station’s coordinator of the local YAL Community Center in Val Verde.

A few of AMS’s key staff members discussed their interest in spearheading an adoption of families for the holidays.

Assured by Briano and Rooney that there were several candidates, the adoption plan was presented to AMS’s corporate staff members.

The adoption idea spread quickly and within hours 28 families had been adopted.

Employees worked either individually or with a team to adopt families, with a number of staff taking on more than one family.

Another associate contacted the staff at Vallarta Supermarket on Lyons Avenue in Newhall and was provided a discount for hot dinners for eight that the staff included with gifts for the adopted families.

“There was something special about buying gifts for a family I didn’t know,” Cope said. “I found myself debating between several gifts, trying to decide which present would be the better choice. Although I never met the family, I wanted to buy them something that would make them smile and bring them joy. The holidays are a time for happiness and that is exactly what I wanted to give for the family I adopted.”

The caravan of AMS staff members gathered first at the AMS offices for the trip to the Val Verde.

When the AMS caravan arrived in Val Verde a small line had already formed, waiting for their arrival.

For the next two hours families arrived to meet the AMS employees and receive their gifts.

Ana Leyba, a senior account manager at AMS who with her husband Paul, working in AMS’s IT department. adopted three families.

Leyba started the emotional introduction of the gift presentation with the passing of a large box of gifts to a appreciative mother and father, with the simple words, “this is from our family to yours.”

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