As the community prepares for Thanksgiving grocery shopping, Advocates to End Domestic Violence director Lisa Lee is asking people to pick up an extra item or two for the group's upcoming food drive.
"This is the major food drive for our shelter," Lee said. "This food drive keeps us going through May, when the postal carriers hold their food drive."
The Holiday Food Drive is scheduled for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Governor's Mansion on Mountain Street.
"This is our ninth year," Lee said. "The drive is hosted by KTVN News Channel 2 and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Advocates is the one doing the project; we're just using the name of Food Bank of Northern Nevada. With that comes the prestige of having all-day television coverage.
"(The Food Bank) approached us to do this. They're very good at helping us organize the event," Lee said.
"There is a misconception that because the name of the Food Bank is used that the food goes to Reno," she said. "It does not."
Lee has been with Advocates since 1986, and is responsible for beginning the annual food drive. She said the drive began with three volunteers and a horse trailer in front of Wal-Mart. About 100 volunteers will be at the mansion, along with another 50 who transfer food from the mansion to the shelter and place it on shelves.
The response from the community has been so gracious, Lee said it now takes two months to prepare for the drive. People enjoy seeing their neighbors and themselves on TV and are encouraged to help. Many drop off checks to the organization.
"We had no idea it would grow to the size it is today," Lee said. "The Governor's Mansion is so recognizable and people love going there; they get a chance to see how it's decorated for the holidays. Plus, it's easy access."
Lee said mansion staff members have been very good to the drive. Another big help is Michael Hohl RV, which makes an RV available for volunteers to keep warm in.
"We have the Rotary Club helping us this year, along with Girl Scouts, the Key Club and the Carson City Raiders Booster Club," Lee said. "We'll have Seeliger and Bordewich-Bray Elementary schools singing, plus we hand out candy canes to everyone all day. The Nevada State Railroad Museum gives us their leftover candy canes from the Santa Train weekend -- and Santa Claus will be here."
Lee said items needed for the shelter include large diapers, soups and cereals --items with a good shelf life.
"When our clients move out of the shelter, we also provide them with a few weeks' worth of food," Lee said. "We have some very generous people in this community. They recognize people need to eat."
Lee said the Food Bank does not ask Advocates for any of the food; it just wants to piggyback on its local efforts for coverage.
"It's a huge event for Douglas County folks, too. It keeps them stocked for months."
YOU CAN HELP
What: Holiday Food Drive
When: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dec. 13
Where: Governor's Mansion, 606 Mountain St.