Radio host organizes food drive to help fire evacuees

Denys Nazarov

Radio station 101.9 FM La Nueva, which host the Spanish-language morning show “Piolin a La Ma’ntilde;ana,” organized a food drive on Wednesday at the 76 gas station on the corner of Balboa Boulevard and Parthenia Street to help the evacuees of the ongoing fires in San Diego

Motorists with donations formed a line of cars to drop off food, water and clothing next to a trailer truck that later transported the supplies to San Diego’s Chargers Stadium along with volunteers who’ll help to distribute the donations to hundreds of residents displaced by the fires.

“The reason we are here is because of everything that going on in Southern California,” said Ernesto Sofa, who works on the show with host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo.

“There is a lot of people in need of canned foods, blankets, pillows and toilet paper,” Sofa said.

To help residents of San Diego, Piolin requested that listeners donate supplies at the corner in question, Sofa said.

Items donated to the relief effort included jeans, breakfast cereal and cookies, although most of the space inside the trailer truck bound for the Chargers Stadium evacuation area was filled with boxes of bottled water.

“The radio show is over at 11,” Sofa said. “As soon as the show is over we’re taking that big trailer down to Oceanside. We’re gonna deliver all that stuff we collected this morning.”

Sofa said Piolin is always involved with community outreach and support efforts like the food drive. After Hurricane Katrina, Piolin traveled to Lousiana, where he urged radio listeners to help victims during a three-day radio broadcast.

Because the line of cars entering the food drive drop-off went as far as Balboa Boulevard. Volunteers had to quickly unload the supplies to prevent the line from becoming congest with cars.

Evelin Castillo, one of the volunteers who lives nearby Tampa Avenue, showed up after she heard about the food drive during Piolin’s daily morning show.

“The reason I am here is just to help out everyone,” Castillo said. “You never know when we are going to need it, so it’s just a little bit I can do.”

Castillo said she would like more people to help volunteers with the food drive in case a similar disaster were to occur in Northridge.

“I haven’t gotten in touch with some of my family members who live in San Diego,” Castillo said. “Hopefully, nothing happens, though I am nervous.”

Before heading to San Diego, Oscar Scamio who is in the national guard, stopped by to drop off some water at the food drive.

Scamio said people appeared motivated and willing to help the effort by donating food or volunteering.

“One of our national guard stations got activated to help out with the fire,” Scamio said. “Right now, we have to report to our base, get dressed and wait for the unit to get there, and then we will be deployed.”

Scamio said because members of his unit aren’t certified firefighters, they’d help firefighters with the evacuation and traffic control in the San Diego area.

“I gotta go right now,” he said. “Who knows how long we’re gonna be there”

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