At this time of the year families gather to share traditional holiday meals and children start to anticipate the magic of the season. But for many families around the Tahoe Basin just having a family meal is not always easy.
Caring and sharing with others is a tradition in the Tahoe Basin. Through local agencies like Project MANA and Christmas Cheer many will receive everything they need to provide a traditional holiday meal. And all around the Basin churches, agencies, individuals and organizations work together to provide basic needs and even toys so that everyone can experience a little of the joy and magic of the season.
Helping provide this magic and joy is easy. It requires no experience and all ages can help by making monetary donations, collecting food, saving coins, packing boxes or wrapping presents. Volunteers are as much a part of the magic and joy as monetary donations. Everyone is invited to participate and caring and sharing can be a family experience.
The following holiday giving programs all need volunteers, donations and support. Let the caring and sharing at Tahoe begin.
• Adopt-a-Family Program — Select an ornament from a special tree at the Lake Tahoe School in Incline Village between Dec. 2 and Dec. 20. Items requested are clothing items not toys. Return the item requested on the ornament unwrapped to the Lake Tahoe School no later than Dec. 20.
• Adopt-a Senior Program — Pick an angel ornament or select a ginger bread ornament off the tree at the IVGID Recreation Center. The angel ornaments are wishes for special items and the ginger bread ornaments provide a holiday meal. The purchases for the special items must be returned no later than Monday, Dec. 9. If you would like to send a monetary donation for the special items or the holiday meals, checks can be made payable to IVGID, Adopt-A-Senior and mailed or dropped off at IVGID Rec. Center, 980 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV 89451. If you need more information stop at the Rec. Center or call 775-832-1310.
• Christmas Cheer — Christmas Cheer will be doing a toy distribution Dec. 16 and Dec. 18 and a Christmas dinner distribution Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. To provide items for the toy or food distribution contact Christmas Cheer located at 1120 3rd Street, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 or at 530-542-4934.
• Evening of Giving —Tahoe Youth and Family Services is hosting an evening of giving and guests are invited to bring a donation item from their annual Wish List. This year the event is being held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at TY&FS offices in South Lake Tahoe and from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12 at their office in Gardnerville. Wish List items to donate: Hand warmers, warm sleeping bags, Winter boots (adult sizes),Winter coats (adult sizes),winter gloves or heavy duty mittens (adult sizes),knit hats and beanies, tents (new or gently used), Men's boxers (adult size small),Thermal underwear (men's & women's sizes),Backpacks (new or gently used),Snack foods (granola bars, cup o' noodles & canned soup), and especially healthy snacks for group meetings and activities, can openers, laundry detergent, liquid bleach and wash cloths for the new laundry and shower facilities at the SLT Drop In Center, white copy paper, 13 gallon garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper and Kleenex.
• Holiday Hope Program — North Tahoe Family Resource Center in Kings Beach will provide gifts and basic needs through its Holiday Hope Program to families during the holidays. Each donor is matched with a family size of their choice and can decide how much they would like to contribute. To select a family call Ana at (530)546-0952.
• Incline Community Toy Drive — During the annual Christmas Tree Village Mixer from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 The Incline Community Business Association will collect new unwrapped toys for the Incline Community Toy Drive. Toys can also be dropped off before Friday, Dec. 6 at the following locations in Incline Village: The Incline Village Visitor Center, IV Coffee Lab, Chase International, Crosby’s, Incline Toys, Susie Scoops, Bar Bar Bar, Lake Tahoe Lockshop, Redemption Sports, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Rookies and the IVGID Recreation Center. If you do not have time to shop but want to contribute visit www.visitinclinevillage.com and make a donation.
• Incline High School JROTC Holiday Food Drive —The Highlander Battalion is having a food drive at Incline High School for non-perishable food items from Nov. 13 through Dec. 17. Items can be dropped off at Incline High School at the JROTC Building, given to any JROTC cadet or placed in one of the collection barrels located in the High School.
• Northern Nevada Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes 2013 – The Northern Nevada Red Cross in Incline Village is asking for cards of thanks, encouragement and holiday cheer that can be sent to members of the military and their families at hospitals and installations around the world. Cards can be dropped off no later than Monday, Dec. 2 at the Northern Nevada Red Cross Chapter Office located in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Non-Profit Center, 948 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV. Cards should be signed, include only cards – no letters or photos. For complete information visit the website for Northern Nevada Red Cross or call Hunter Isgrig at 775-298-0131.
• Pet Network’s Holiday Giving Programs —Pet Network Wishing Trees and Rescue Wreaths are located in local businesses in Incline Village. Buy an ornament (a dog or cat toy) off the Wishing Tree to make a donation. Buy a Rescue Wreath in honor of your friends, family or beloved pet. Or purchase a bag of gourmet coffee online at www.petnetwork.org/rescueroast and this can even be personalized with a pet photo.
• Project MANA’s Let’s Talk Turkey — Project MANA’s Let’s Talk Turkey program distributed a frozen turkey and all the fixings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal to more than 600 families in our area last year. Again this year Let’s Talk Turkey is in need of frozen turkeys and canned items or monetary donations ($25 will provide a local family’s Thanksgiving meal). Drop off food or monetary donations at Project MANA’s office in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Non-Profit Center, 948 Incline Way. Credit card donations can be made online. Frozen turkeys will be accepted only through Wednesday, Nov. 25 but non-perishable food items and monetary donations are needed all year long.
• Shop with the Sheriff Program — The Washoe County Sheriff’s office is offering its eleventh annual “Shop with the Sheriff” event for at-risk and underprivileged children ages 7-13. Last year 50 children from our area participated along with others from Northern Nevada. Each child is paired with a sheriff or sheriff’s volunteer to purchase clothing and toys up to $200 at Wal-Mart plus each
receives a $50 gift card for a holiday dinner. Cash donations for this program can be sent to Washoe County Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association, 911 Parr Blvd., Reno, NV 89512
.• Toys for Tots Tahoe City/Truckee — Toys are provided to children that might not otherwise receive a toy during the holiday season. Collection barrels for new unwrapped toys are located at local drop-off stations in the Tahoe City/Truckee area. Toys and monetary donations received in Tahoe City will be distributed in Tahoe City and Toys and monetary donations received in Truckee will be distributed in the Truckee area. Toy collection is from Nov. 18-Dec. 15. You can also bring a new unwrapped toy to one of the local community parties listed on the website. For complete information visit www.tahoe-truckee.toysfortots.org or call Toys for Tots Coordinator Elaine Durazo 530-386-0635.