As families wrap up their Thanksgiving festivities, Christmas is fast approaching around the corner and local organizations are working hard to ensure families in need have presents to put under the tree.
FISH Community Food Bank is partnering with a local church and Rotary clubs on this year’s annual Christmas basket event. FISH director Peggy Morache said the need is greater than ever this year for people to participate.
“Right now, we’ve got 200 families who have registered, which is up significantly from last year,” she said. “There are more coming in every day. We have 150 people who have register to adopt families, and that number is going up every day.”
After seeing the number of people who signed up in years past to adopt families in need, Morache said she is confident that the community will rise to the occasion as they always do.
“It’s interesting to us that these numbers are so high, because we’ve seen it occur universally,” she said. “We’ve given over 400 turkeys out this year, as opposed to 320 last year. Our numbers are up significantly this holiday season.”
Adding to the effort, Morache said the local Downer County Motorcycle Club has pitched in for the basket event.
“They’ve been giving Christmas gifts to children for 36 years,” she said. “This year they decided to partner with us and be part of we give out. We have a substantial number of toys and gifts for the children.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Morache said the food bank is always looking for volunteers for the Christmas basket effort, and those who are interested can contact Ginny Blackson at the food bank with the times they are available to help. She said people who would like to donate a present but can’t adopt a family can contact the food bank with any questions as to what is needed.
This year, the First Lutheran Church donated space for the basket organization and item collection efforts. Morache said the baskets will be ready to go out on Dec. 20, and families who sign up can either pick up their baskets from the church or have them delivered if need be. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will help in the delivery efforts along with FISH staff and volunteers.
Morache said the deadline for families who would like to sign up for the program is Nov. 30, while the deadline to sign up to adopt a family is Dec. 2.
“We still have people calling in every day, and we could sure use others who would like to adopt a family this holiday season,” she said.
Whether it’s one present, sponsoring an entire family, or donating time to help organize and distribute the baskets, Morache said every ounce of effort helps make the community we live in a better place during the holiday season.
“I think all you have to think about is a child this Christmas season who might wake up to nothing under the tree,” she said. “This will make a child’s Christmas morning memorable in a good way. We want to help anybody and everybody who needs it, and based on how dramatically up our numbers are, we know there’s a lot of people out there that needs that help. Nobody should feel any sort of embarrassment or dismay over asking help, because that’s what we’re here for.”