The month of December is special for most of us. For some it holds great religious significance with Christmas and Hanukkah. We have cultural celebrations such as Kwanzaa. For others, Santa comes to visit bearing gifts. It’s a time to gather with family and friends. Music, parties, great meals, baked treats, and the exchanging of gifts highlight the season. Sadly, there are many who live in Contra Costa County who are not as fortunate as most of us. If you would like to make a difference in their lives, here are two ways you can help.
Feeding the Hungry
During this holiday season, for the ninth year in a row, employees of Contra Costa and Solano counties will compete to raise funds for their neighbors in need with the “Counties Care” Holiday Food Fight. Since the Challenge began in 2004, a total of $927,993.73 has been collected. County employees hope to raise over $72,000 this year and hit the Million Dollar Mark. All funds and food raised are contributed to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. For every dollar donated, the Food Bank distributes the equivalent of two nutritious, high-quality meals to hungry neighbors in our communities.
You can join in the Food Fight fun by making your donation on their web site by clicking here, then click on the “Counties Care Holiday Food Fight”. In addition, barrels for collecting foodstuffs can be found in County buildings, including fire stations, libraries, and, of course my offices at 309 Diablo Road in Danville and 3338 Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. We are also happy to accept checks made out to Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano at my office.
Gifts for Children
Another way that you can help make this holiday season brighter for those in need is to support Holiday Helpers, a project led each year by the Volunteer and Emergency Services Team in Action (VESTIA). VESTIA is a non-profit led by volunteers. It raises money and obtains donated goods and services to provide supplemental support to the clients of the Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD) in Contra Costa County when no other resources are available. One of the programs they offer is called the Holiday Helpers Warehouse, which provides holiday assistance (gifts, clothing and food) to low-income children.
If you would like to help, they are in need of:
Toys for boys and girls, ages 3 to 14
Blankets, any size
Warm clothing, children’s only
Gifts for teens ages 15 – 18, including watches, makeup kits, hat & scarf sets, appropriate DVDs, movie tickets, and gift cards ($15 value)
All donations should be new and left unwrapped. Cash donations are also very important for last minute special needs shopping. Please make checks payable to VESTIA, Inc. All donations are tax deductible.
You can drop donations off ay my office through December 13. Or, deliver your donations directly to the Holiday Helpers Warehouse, located at 500 Ellinwood Way in Pleasant Hill, on Friday, December 14th between the hours of 9:00AM and 2:00PM. For more information about VESTIA, please call 925-521-5060, or contact Anne Struthers at 925-521-5062 or email by clicking here.
~ Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Anderson, represents District 2