Families who wish to receive food and gifts from Brighter Christmas, the local holiday charity, can apply from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at Tracy Community Center, 950 East St.
Applicants must take photo identification, verification of children’s birth and ages, proof of income, proof of rent or mortgage and a current bill from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Volunteers can report to the community center for instructions at 8:30 a.m.
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 not be wrapped.
Volunteers can sign up to man the tree during mall hours and help with the charity’s barrel distribution, applicant screening, food and toy sorting and other activities.
For information: Steve Abercrombie, email@example.com; or Tracy Brighter Christmas, 833-3309 or www.tracybrighterchristmas.com.
Mountain House couple organizes holiday food drive
Two Mountain House residents hope to recruit a few more food and clothing donations this weekend to help needy families for the Thanksgiving holiday.
According to organizers Katherine Havener and Mauricio Ramos of Mountain House, the Tri-Valley Basket Brigade is a way for local families to give back to their communities during the holiday season.
Baskets of food and other goods will be assembled at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.
While assembly will take place in Livermore, some of the beneficiaries are in Tracy and Mountain House, including teenage parents involved in Tracy Unified School District’s S.T.E.P.S. program.
Participants in the brigade sign up to take various food, clothing and personal items to a collection site — Valley Montessori School, 1273 N. Livermore Ave., in Livermore — where they will be sorted into baskets for local needy families.
Volunteers can be any age, including children, to help with basket assembly.
Each teenage and adult participant is asked to donate $20 worth of food. Participants can also deliver a basket personally to a family in need.
For information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a sandwich, help the cause
Tri-tip sandwiches will be served Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at the American Legion Hall, 1960 Tracy Blvd., to raise funds for Tracy Interfaith Ministries’ Thanksgiving food programs.
Rick McDonald said he was working with Ron Garcia to put on the sandwich sales, which will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Contributors to the fundraiser include J-Z Auto Sales, Rusty’s Bar & Grill, Caldron’s Jewelers and Ace Hardware.
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 email@example.com.
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. Thursday, Nov. 22.
For information: Alexis Brown, 833-0862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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 a Coat Closet the school is developing.
For information: Donna Boyd, 830-3312 or email@example.com.
Salvation Army needs bell ringers
The Salvation Army in Tracy seeks volunteers for its holiday kettle fundraiser program.
Bell-ringers will work two-hour shifts outside local stores from Friday, Nov. 23, to Dec. 24.
This fundraiser provides emergency help year-round, 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 wraps up
Residents have one last day 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. Friday, Nov. 16, at T&J Educational Supplies for Early Learners, 320 W. 11th St.
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 for 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 Tracy Family Shelter and VBR Foster Family Agency.
Those who wish to contribute can email or call Jones about how to drop off donations.
For information: Pat Jones, 914-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wreath fundraiser supports tutoring
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 Monday, 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 email@example.com.