Area residents help food drive
Five hours into the 18th annual Share Your Holiday Food Drive at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday, the donations were about double what they were at the same time last year.
“This is way bigger than last year. It’s amazing,” said Lisa Lee, director of Advocates to End Domestic Violence.
Lee attributes some of the day’s success to the warm temperatures, which allowed people to more easily access the food drive.
Dozens of volunteers rushed to vehicles to help donors as they pulled into the circular driveway at the mansion with bags full of food and other household supplies, as well as financial contributions.
“I’d say we’ve collected more than $1,500 already,” said volunteer Gayle Rankin as she passed a check to Lee. “It’s been busy, very busy. We’re doing fabulous – we’ve collected so much food. It’s amazing how giving people are.”
Jim and Susan Bean, who were dropping off their donations, said they enjoy helping.
“We’re here just to help people out, especially nowadays. We don’t have a lot, but we always want to give what we can, including some cash,” said Jim Bean.
Carol Allen said from her car window that she is a longtime supporter of the organization.
“I love Advocates. It’s just a charity I like to support. I try to donate to them all the time, whether it’s at a Taste of Downtown, or money,
clothing and food. This is one of my favorite charities. This helps everybody,” Allen said.
In another vehicle, Ron Johns had brought his mother and father to the drive-through event.
“A lot of people need help all year,” he said.
Victoria Williams, a 20-year volunteer with Advocates, said Carson City people are very generous.
“The people who come here sometimes have nothing themselves, but they’re so giving and caring, it just warms your heart. I love working here. It puts you in the holiday spirit,” Williams said.
Newfoundland Scoobie pulled a cart full of donations into the driveway of the mansion with his owners Star Robinson and Shayne Cooper.
“We live a block and a half from here,” Robinson said. “We pulled the wagon most of the way, but Scoobie pulled it up here,” she said.
Santa Claus, aka Garland Francis, 68, was on hand to take requests from little ones and hand out candy.
“This is my 15th year to volunteer and I love doing it. My wife Marion and I do Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, but we only do charities,” Francis said. “When we’re not doing this, we collect cans and glass and plastic bottles to trade in, and all proceeds go to food banks in the area. Sometimes they need things like shampoos, diapers or laundry soap, but this goes on all year for us.”
According to Lee, an average number of 30 women and children are housed in Carson City’s Advocates to End Domestic Violence shelter every night. The typical person seeking relief from an abusive relationship is 33 years old, has two children under the age of 5, no car, no public assistance funds and no job.