Local charities in need of a boost
by Press-Banner
Nov 21, 2009 | 691 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a year when economic woes have plagued the country and unemployment has hovered near 10 percent, the need in Santa Cruz County is as great as it has been in a long time.

Many organizations in the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley take part in fundraisers to collect food, gifts, clothing and money to help those in need, including the following groups:

Valley Churches United Missions

This local nonprofit has announced that it is woefully low on food to stuff Thanksgiving and Christmas bags. About 680 households in the area are on the list for Thanksgiving help.

VCUM has its holiday boutique open at the corner of Highway 9 and Glen Arbor Road in downtown Ben Lomond.

The boutique collects new gifts for children, along with nonperishable food items, such as peanut butter; canned fruits, veggies, tuna, meat, stew and soup; pasta and cereal; fruit juice; dry beans; and meals in a can. Gift certificates for turkeys from local grocery stores also help.

Cash donations are also distributed to families whose members have lost jobs and whose bills are going unpaid.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, director Annette Marcum added five new Scotts Valley families to the docket for Thanksgiving food, raising the total to 127 households.

“That’s a high number — the highest ever in Scotts Valley,” she said.

Grocery stores

Almost every grocery store or market has a barrel to collect food.

It’s easy to buy a few extra canned items and drop them into the barrel on the way out of the market.

Banks

Many financial institutions also serve as collection sites. As an example, Santa Cruz County Bank’s Scotts Valley branch will accept gifts of nonperishable food for both the VCUM and Second Harvest Food Bank food drives.

Coats for Kids

Girl Scouts all over the county, including in Bonny Doon and the San Lorenzo Valley, have collected coats for the Coats for Kids Drive put on by Classic Cleaners in Santa Cruz. More than 500 new and gently used coats have already been received by Scouts, and donations are being accepted at all Bay Federal and Comerica Bank locations. The drive will run through Dec. 15.

For information: 423-2630.
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