For several minutes, Lisa Ray didnt recognize the well-dressed young man who was helping to load piles of impeccably folded and wrapped shirts, pants and sweaters into her car.
In fact, she mentioned to his father, he looked just like a movie star.
Thats when the young man decided to introduce himself.
He looks at me and says, Hey, Im Zac Efron, Ray recalled last week. And I screamed. Im screaming like Im a 13-year-old girl.
Ray is president and CEO of the Childrens Resource Network of the Central Coast formerly known as Lisa Rays Donation Group a homegrown nonprofit that she founded about two and a half years ago on a shoestring budget.
During that time, Rays organization has gone from helping one single moms children to outfitting more than 3,500 children and teens from Lompoc to Cambria.
Efron, an Arroyo Grande High graduate who got his big break as a singing, dancing basketball player in Disneys High School Musical series, learned about one of the nonprofits programs, The Teens Closet, and decided thats where he wanted to donate his clothing, Ray said.
The program allows disadvantaged and homeless teens or their parents to pick out and try on donated clothing.
Efron handed over about 300 items of clothing the day before Thanksgiving, Ray said, and even added his signature to one wall in the Teens Closet, a 12-by-40-foot portable building located on the Arroyo Grande Care Centers property in Arroyo Grande.
Special tags will be put on Efrons clothes so that the teens who receive them will know who previously owned them.
His gift says a lot, Ray added. Its not only the clothing. Its having something special that other kids wouldnt have access to. It shows them that people do care.
Cynthia Lambert and Gayle Cuddy write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCounty Beat on Twitter.