Lend a Hand: Holiday season warms up
Nov 12, 2012 | 2795 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Locals wanted to help ‘Feed the Need’

Organizers of the annual community Thanksgiving dinner at The Great Plate Bar & Grill, 714 Central Ave., are still looking for donations of food and volunteers to help serve meals.

The free meal runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 22.

For information: Alexis Brown, 833-0862 or alexis@thegreatplate.com.

Families can apply for Brighter Christmas help

Families who wish to receive food and gifts from Brighter Christmas, the local holiday charity, can apply Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at Tracy Community Center, 950 East St. Details are on the nonprofit’s website.

The following week, Brighter Christmas will continue its holiday efforts with the opening of the Angel Tree at the West Valley Mall.

Tags representing local boys and girls will adorn the tree from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, inviting passers-by to pick one and purchase a gift for the child. Gifts should be unwrapped and cost no more than $15.

Volunteers can sign up man the tree during mall hours and help with the local charity’s barrel distribution, applicant screening, food and toy sorting and other activities.

For information: Steve Abercrombie, officerabs@yahoo.com; or Tracy Brighter Christmas, 833-3309 or www.tracybrighterchristmas.com.

Real estate office accepts food, coat donations

Donations of canned or dry food and coats for children of all ages, either new or slightly used, can be dropped off until Dec. 15 at Century 21 M&M and Associates, 912 W. 11th St.

All clothing and food that is received by the office will be given to a local nonprofit to share with people in need during this holiday season.

For information: Nancy Payne, sales manager, 814-3122 or npayne@c21mm.com.

Credit union collects canned food

The Golden 1 Credit Union is continuing its canned food drive through the end of November.

A collection bin can be found at the Tracy branch, 3202 W. Grant Line Road.

Donors are invited to give nonperishable food items and other necessities, such as diapers and baby formula, for families in need.

All donations will be given to Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. Past drives have provided more than 4,000 pounds of food for community organizations.

Other Central Valley branches are also participating in the drive and can be located using the credit union’s website, http://golden1.com/locator.

For information: http://golden1.com.

Hirsch Elementary collects warm clothing

Residents can contribute to a blanket, coat and shoe drive sponsored by Hirsch Elementary School through Jan. 4.

Warm new coats and shoes or clean, gently used coats and shoes for people of all ages and sizes can be dropped off at the school office, 1280 Dove Drive, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. New or like-new blankets are also welcomed.

Most of the donated items will be given to Tracy Interfaith Ministries for distribution. Some child-size coats will form the core of a Coat Closet the school is developing.

For information: Donna Boyd, 830-3312 or dboyd@tusd.net.

Salvation Army needs bell ringers

The Salvation Army in Tracy is seeking volunteers for its holiday kettle fundraiser program.

Bell ringers will work two-hour shifts outside local stores from Nov. 23 to Dec. 24.

This fundraiser provides emergency help all year, including food, help with utility costs, disaster assistance and back-to-school preparation for Tracy residents and families.

The Salvation Army and Tracy Interfaith Ministries together provide food baskets for local people at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Salvation Army, 241 E. 10th St., Ste. A, Tracy, CA 95376.

For information: Myra Casey, 836-2346.

Children’s coat drive concludes Friday

Residents have a few more days to contribute to a coat drive for local children that began Nov. 1, sponsored by Tracy African American Association.

Warm coats for children and teenagers of all ages and sizes, either new or in good condition, can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekdays and between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays at T&J Educational Supplies for Early Learners, 320 W. 11th St.

The coat drive ends Friday, Nov. 16.

Tracy African American Association members will deliver coats Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, to families living in predetermined low-income areas of the city.

For information: www.taaa.net.

Nonprofit collects stuffed animals for holiday gifts

Tracy resident Pat Jones hopes to inspire local residents to donate small stuffed animals to be included in care packages for members of the U.S. military.

As gifting chairwoman for a nonprofit called Good News Bears, Jones reported in late October that she needed to collect 2,500 Beanie Baby-style toys by mid-November.

Good News Bears gives stuffed toys to groups throughout the region, including Military Moms of Tracy, McHenry House Family Shelter, VBR Foster Family Agency and several other Tracy organizations.

According to Jones, the nonprofit has given out more than 100,000 stuffed animals since 1996.

Those who wish to contribute can email or call Jones about where to drop off donations.

For information: Pat Jones, 914-2116 or pajones61@comcast.net.

Wreath fundraiser supports tutoring group

Give Every Child a Chance, a tutoring and mentoring program that helps students at some Tracy elementary schools, is raising money through wreath sales this holiday season.

Proceeds from purchases of wreaths until Nov. 19 will support one-on-one tutoring for Tracy children.

Wreaths are shipped by UPS, and prices and styles vary.

For information: Karen Abler, 832-4481; or www.gecactracy.org.

• Lend a Hand runs in Our Town whenever someone is looking for volunteers or has a need for donations in Tracy. Send your plea to Our Town at tpourtown@tracypress.com, or drop a note at the Tracy Press.

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