‘This is what Christmas is about’
Hundreds of local residents contributed thousands of pounds of food Friday to help those less fortunate enjoy their holiday this year.
“Sharing the Holiday” was the theme of this year’s annual food drive at the Governor’s Mansion, and the line of traffic to drop off non-perishable items continued throughout the day – from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Advocates to End Domestic Violence Director Lisa Lee, whose group of volunteers took the 6-to-10 a.m. shift, said her organization, as well as Friends In Service Helping (FISH) and the Ron Wood Family Resource Center, would share in this year’s bounty.
“It’s been going great today,” Lee said, smiling as she watched vehicles lining up in the circular driveway of the mansion to drop off bags and boxes of food.
“I don’t know whether it’s this weather or because of the economy that more people are coming out to support us, but all the organizations are really struggling this year, and we depend on this great source of support from the community,” she said.
Lee said she believes the holiday season brings out the best in people.
“This time of year people want to give, and that’s what will get us through the year. I don’t know how much of the feeling is brought on by commercialization, but people get excited and want to help,” she said.
Kathy Walsh shared her feelings as she drove up to deliver her donations.
“There are those of us who are very lucky, and those who aren’t, and that’s why we’re all here – to help each other,” Walsh said. “And who knows? We could find ourselves on the other side someday. You just never know these days.”
She said the holiday seems to engender tender feelings.
“This is really what Christmas is all about. This is my third year donating here, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing for Christmas than helping someone else,” Walsh said.
Jim Flegal, another donor, said he was prompted by the economy’s effect on people.
“I see a lot of stuff on TV where people need food, so I thought I’d come down and donate,” Flegel said. “I thought it would be nice to come down and see how I could help out.”
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada and KTVN Channel 2 News helped sponsor the event. F.I.S.H. took over from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Ron Wood Family Resource Center handled donations from 2 to 6 p.m.