Holiday help: Community gives much, yet more is needed
The Christmas spirit is spreading throughout Carson City, with groups and individuals finding ways to give to the less fortunate. School children have rallied donations, volunteers have been ringing bells in front of local businesses and toys are being dropped in bins across town.
However, despite the generosity seen so far, more is needed.
Joyce Buckingham, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, is heading up the Toys for Tots drive.
She said need has gone up about 25 percent this year, while donations have dropped about 10 percent.
As of Friday, she said, they had distributed toys to 400 families, which is close to 1,800 children.
She said there are about 1,500 families, or 4,500 children, still left on the list.
New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at locations throughout town, and monetary donations can be sent to Ron Wood at 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 62, Carson City, NV 89706 or at carson-city-nv.toysfortots.org.
Other organizations are still in need of help as well.
Holiday with a Hero, which pairs needy children with cops and firefighters and other service workers, will take place on Thursday. Donations are still being sought to provide $100 gift cards to 150 of the city’s neediest children.
All cash donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, 911 E. Musser St., Carson City, 89701. Write “Holiday with a Hero” in the memo field. For more information or to also donate wrapping paper, tape or lunch, contact Detective Dena Lacy at 887-2020 ext. 41405 or Detective Daniel Gonzales at ext. 41407.
Friends In Service Helping is also looking for some last-minute help. After providing nearly 550 local families with Thanksgiving turkeys and side items, FISH has nearly 650 families requesting Christmas meals.
“With donations down this year, FISH still needs about 200 turkeys or hams to meet the need,” said Director Jim Peckham.
Donations are being accepted at the Carson City location 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Meal distribution will begin Dec. 20 out of the Mound House and Carson City stores.
For more information, call 882-3474.
Schools do their part
From businesses, to schools, to service groups and families, residents throughout Carson City are answering the call for help this holiday season.
At Carson Montessori School, the theme for this time of year is philanthropy, rather than the traditional notion of gift-giving.
Each grade level at the school adopts an organization to support, from homeless shelters to animal rescue groups.
The second-graders chose to support the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing where families can stay while a child is hospitalized.
The idea started when teacher Adrienne Turner shared her own story of staying in the Las Vegas facility during her infant daughter’s heart surgery.
The 32 children set the goal of raising $200, but ended up collecting more than $600. The students used the money to buy items from the wish list of the Reno chapter and on Wednesday will deliver the supplies and take a tour of the facility.
“I think it opens their eyes to helping others,” Turner said. “They get the reward of knowing what it’s going toward.”
KiLynne Munoz, 7, learned the joy that comes from giving.
“It made me feel passionable,” she said. “It made me feel like I was helping the world.”
And knowing someone who had been in need of the service made it more meaningful to Hannah Woomer, 8.
“I am proud that we could help out,” she said. “We’re kind of returning a favor because they really helped Ms. Turner.”
Dubbed the Week of Giving, Carson High School students spent last week collecting items for a different organization each day. On Monday, class presidents organized the donations.
It is the third year junior class president Tim Grunert has participated in the event. He encouraged the rest of the community to find ways to give as well.
“Donating is something everyone can do,” he said. “It’s pretty easy.”
And it’s appreciated, said 9-year-old Hope, who was taken on a shopping spree last week by the Kiwanis Club of Dayton Township, where she bought a blanket and snow boots.
She was one of 32 children from Dayton and Silver Springs elementary schools who were given $75 for Christmas shopping.
“They’re taking their time out and their money to spend it on me,” she said. “It’s nice.”