As of Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The Christmas Project will provide more gift boxes this year than ever before to disadvantaged Hood River County residents.
“Numbers are up from last year,” said President Bruce Holmson last week. “Usually, they’re around 500, and the last several years, it’s been plus or minus five. We’re at 530 this year, so it’s a little bit of an increase.”
Needy families, seniors and people with disabilities began registering for the Christmas Project’s food and toy baskets before Thanksgiving, with sites set up in Cascade Locks, Hood River, Odell and Parkdale. Registration ended Dec. 5.
WANT TO HELP?
Interested persons are asked to call Volunteer Coordinator Kym Zanmiller at 541-399-6606 or email email@example.com for more information on how to help.
Last week, volunteers were wrapping up food collection — Holmson estimates six tons of purchased and donated food will be delivered to the Hood River County Fairgrounds for organizing and sorting by early this week.
Volunteers have also been collecting and purchasing the last of the toys; every registered child is matched with a toy based on age and gender.
“We’ve got some really great toys this year,” Holmson said. “At the Gala of Giving at the Fashion Show (held Nov. 13), we got some beautiful toys, and then the Boy Scouts (Troop 282) and Jeff McCaw (scoutmaster) went to Walmart (Dec. 8) night and spent $6,000 in two hours, buying toys. Plus we have the toy barrels, so we’ve got a lot of toys. It should be a pretty good time for all.”
This is the first year the project will sort food and toys at the same location, at the urging of Fair Manger Clara Rice.
While Hood River Valley High School sports teams have volunteered to put together the gift boxes this week, more volunteers are needed.
“If we can get more people to fill in some spots and help us along, we can always find plenty of work,” he said.
Monetary donations can be sent to PO Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031. All donations are tax deductible.
Gift pickup is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20, from 1-6 p.m. in the Community Building.