SAN ARDO — Five San Ardo families had one less thing to worry about for the holidays after being showered with gifts, thanks to the generosity of employees from local oil company Aera Energy and its business partners.
Through its annual holiday adopt-a-family program, employees from Aera’s San Ardo oilfield adopted the local families, which included 12 children between the ages of 2 and 15.
The families received armloads of gifts, including clothing, toys and household items. The donations also included three bikes with helmets and gift cards for groceries.
“Economic hardships and unexpected life events have made celebrating the holidays a struggle for some families right here in our own community,” said Kathy Miller, Aera public affairs coordinator for Monterey County. “Our employees pour their hearts out to help our neighbors. It’s really special when you see the smiles, and often tears, of gratitude from parents and the excitement from the children.”
The families were identified by San Ardo School as needing extra support and Aera was provided with “wish lists” of items big and small. Employees used the lists to make wishes come true by purchasing and wrapping gifts, before distributing them to families.
On Dec. 17, the gifts were distributed to families in a Covid-safe way at a festive drive-thru event at Aera’s San Ardo oilfield office.
“So much is hidden behind masks nowadays, but when the families pulled up in their cars and saw the gifts, it was easy to see the big smiles even through face coverings,” Miller said. “This is a very special project for our company and the community.”
Generosity came from all corners of the oil field, including employees from Aera Energy, HydroChem PSC, Kings Oil Tools, Patriot Environmental, Robert Heely Construction and Sturgeon Services International.