Croatian immigrant provides ‘Monthly Miracles’ to East Bay community

LIVERMORE — Kristina Bethea grew up in Croatia. During that time, she remembers being thrilled at Christmas to receive a shoe box full of things children like — crayons, coloring books, toys and such — sent by Americans who wanted to brighten the holidays of kids like her.

She moved to the U.S. fourteen years ago then, five years ago, she set out to give joy to others.

She started a charity in the East Bay called Monthly Miracles that collects family-friendly Christmas gifts, clothing and meals to neighbors in need.

Many times it’s about providing miracles to those who don’t have a home, Bethea says.

These days, school districts in the Tri Valley will often reach out to her with names of families of students who need help. Monthly Miracles steps in to help people who are actively finding shelter but who, for various reasons, are overlooked by government assistance programs. The non profit helps with housing assistance, relocation, transportation aid and homeless prevention.

This month, donors can fulfill needs and wishes of individuals and families by selecting a wish-list ornament from one of the Christmas giving trees she has set up at locations in Pleasanton and Livermore.

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