Holiday spirit comes to Truckee | SierraSun.com
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Holiday spirit comes to Truckee

SHERRY MAYS

For more than 100 Truckee families, Christmas will be a little warmer, a little brighter and a whole lot happier thanks to the efforts the Adopt-A-Family program, now in its 10th year.

“This is pure giving on people’s parts,” Joan Hartwell, president of Truckee Community Christmas, said. “And it’s going as smooth as a clock.”

Truckee Community Christmas acts as the coordinator for the program, but it is the hundred of other volunteers who wrap presents, sort food, buy coats and deliver the goods.

This year, Hartwell said more than $6,000 was donated and went toward purchasing food gift certificates.

“Ninety-five percent of the money went to food certificates,” she said. “The rest goes to toys if we come up short.”

Toy drive

The Truckee Soroptimists set up toy drive boxes at many businesses throughout the community helping to bring in the more than 600 toys that would accommodate about 300 children. Of the toys donated were two brand-new bicycles, with bike helmets included. Hartwell said the bicycles would go to multiple-child families where the children were all close in age.

“It’s difficult to divvy up toys like that,” she said. “We think all the children deserve these gifts.”

At Tahoe-Truckee High School, volunteers, including the local Girl Scout troop, worked frantically Friday to finish wrapping toys and sorting food. The school district coordinated this effort.

Board of Realtor volunteers arranged for the food drive. While sorting the canned foods, two long cafeteria tables were heaped high with cans, four and five cans high.

Once the cans were sorted and toys wrapped, it was the Saturday task of Bradbury’s Linda Smidt to carefully follow the list of families and the number of children to properly sort the food certificates, canned foods and, most importantly, the toys.

“This is when we know if more toys need to be purchased,” Hartwell said. “But by the way it looks, it’s all coming together just fine.”

During the past decade, the community Christmas efforts have evolved from just food at one time, to only toys at another time and other times handled the buying of coats.

“Now it’s everything,” Hartwell said. “We make sure no one goes without.”

Other donators were the Resort at Squaw Creek and David and Jodee Turnquist, owners of both 7-Eleven stores. The resort donated seven decorated Christmas trees and 12 frozen turkeys. The Turnquists donated five-minute calling cards, two of which would be given to each family, allowing for 10 minutes of holiday calling time.

In a related effort, the Church of the Mountains decided to take on the job of collecting and distributing warm coats within the community.

Additionally, 29 senior citizens will receive gifts and/or food for the holidays.

“Every year the numbers stay just about the same,” Hartwell said. “But every year we add on a few more families. This year is no different.”

All together, 49 families were adopted for food distribution and 122 families received food, coats, toys and food gift certificates.


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