Forgoing name brands for charity

A group of Huntington Beach teenage girls learned to appreciate the generic brands as they stretched their dollars for the less fortunate.

Pacific Coast, the Huntington Beach chapter of the National Charity League, practiced spending within a budget as they shopped for and assembled food baskets for families at the Oak View Family Resource Center in Huntington Beach.

"We managed to get everything and even a couple extra treats," said Huntington Beach High School Junior Niccole Anzivino, 16.

The National Charity League is a nonprofit organization that brings together mothers and daughters in middle and high school to do community service.

The girls were broken into groups and given a budget to shop for a specific family the resource center picked out, said mother Lena Vergara. The budget was based on the monetary donations each group of girls had collected for the food drive.

"They can see what it takes to feed a family," she said.

The girls were challenged to get the items on the shopping list, mainly staple food items like flour, sugar, pasta and canned goods, with the money they had.

"We try to get the best deals on things," Vergara said.

Shopping at Walmart, Niccole and her group were able to stay within budget and get all the items on the list. Working within financial constraints wasn't difficult; they just had to make sure they considered all their options and opted for the generic brands, Niccole said.

The money added up fast, but they were still able to include some extra goodies for their families like peanut butter, jelly, toothbrushes and cookies, she said.

"It's just crazy to think that that's the treats for the kids when that's everyday stuff we have," Niccole said.

Pacific Coast delivered 12 baskets in all to the resource center in time for Thanksgiving. The service project has been a long-standing tradition, which the chapter participates in on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

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