Holiday spirit prevails; Truckee Community Christmas coordinates gift, food drives


A group of volunteers is once again pitching in to help out those in need this Christmas.

Almost 150 selected families will receive food, gifts and gift certificates as part of the annual Truckee Community Christmas project and its four programs.

Adopt-A-Family, a program sponsored by Truckee Rotary and Safeway, brings needy families together with those able to help. Those helping will be asked to provide a Christmas dinner and toys for the needy family.

The names will be available the weekend of Thanksgiving at Safeway. Should a family on the list not be adopted, they will become eligible for food gift certificate and toy programs.

Soroptimist International is sponsoring a program which provides toys for children in the area. They will accept new, unwrapped gifts at collection boxes and barrels across town beginning the week of Thanksgiving. The toys collected in the program will go to children from newborns to 17-year-olds.

Non-perishable food items will be collected by the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors Dec. 13 at Lucky’s, Safeway and the Glenshire General Store. This is a one-day-only event.

The Church of the Mountains is collecting coats for distribution and will accept them until Dec. 22. Coats will be accepted at the church.

The Truckee Community Christmas program started 10 years ago with Truckee Community Care giving out food certificates and food baskets. Three years ago, Truckee Community Christmas incorporated.

“This has grown by leaps and bounds and is a real community effort,” said Joan Hartwell of Truckee Community Christmas. “Everybody pitches in.”

Hartwell said the names of those in need come from several sources, including social service agencies, Community Care, Tahoe Forest Hospital, churches and schools.

“Last year we had 179 households that we helped in one way or the other,” Hartwell said.

According to Hartwell, there are success stories that have come from the program.

“Sometimes you only need help one year because you’ve lost a job and need help this year, but maybe not the next,” said Hartwell. “We had one family who were recipients last year and are now helping us out this year.”

Truckee Community Christmas is comprised of hundreds of volunteers from service organizations and the community.

“The holidays are hard sometimes, especially if you can’t do something for your kids,” said Hartwell. “If we can help families, we’ve done our job.”


To volunteer or make donations to Truckee Community Christmas, contact any of the following organizations:

— Adopt-A-Family- sponsor a family and provide a Christmas dinner and toys for them. Contact Ron Florian at 582-7950 or Patti Florian at 582-4107.

— Soroptimist International’s toy collections throughout Truckee – contact Linda Smidt at 587-1620.

— Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors’ non-perishable food item collections Dec. 13 – contact Bill Smidt at 587-1620.

— Coat collection at Church of the Mountains – contact Virginia Knittle at 582-5212.

— General donations to the Truckee Community Christmas program can be made with checks payable to Truckee Community Christmas Inc., P.O. Box 2955, Truckee, CA 96160.

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