TRUCKEE, Calif. - Last Sunday afternoon I entered a fairly quiet Save Mart and immediately ran into the cheery face of Truckee Community Christmas (TCC) volunteer Pam McCarthy. "I just had an amazing thing happen," she said. "A man paid for his groceries, wheeled his full cart over to me, and said he was donating the entire shopping cart. I thought he was kidding. Then I got a lump in my throat. He meant it."
These little moments of wonder happen all day long, especially during the holidays when everyone is tuned in to helping neighbors who need a hand in making the holidays bright.
"The man returned to shopping," she added. "When he passed by me on the way out, I thanked him again for his gift, and I told him his donation gave me a lump in my throat. He said, 'It gave me one, too, and it felt wonderful.'"
Well, that about sums things up. The more you give, the more you get back. That's why our community gets an A-plus in giving.
All around town, it's impossible to ignore barrels for new, unwrapped toys, nonperishable food, and various drop-off locations for gently used winter coats. This is TCC's last week for the push to make a difference in the lives of 325 needy families, 20 teenage moms and their babies, 60 low-income seniors, and close to 60 homebound seniors who are recipients of the local Meals On Wheels program.
While talking to Pam, four people dropped bagfuls of food into the barrel, and one woman handed me a $10 bill during a quick exit out the automatic door. "Thanks," I yelled as she scooted onto the sidewalk.
The food drive is in need of staple items such as peanut butter, canned tuna, chicken salad, beans, rice, Cheerios, Ensure, popcorn, pudding, and easy-open pop-top cans of soup and beans for seniors. They also need jars of baby food, wipes and diapers. Food coordinator Lynn Richardson can answer any questions at 530-582-2422.
Winter coat donations have lagged a bit this year so please dig into your closets and turn them loose! Coat coordinators are Sheila Greeno and Cathie Foley at Church of the Mountains, 530-587-4407, email firstname.lastname@example.org; and Pastor Wayne Hoag at Sierra Bible Church, 530-587-6025, email email@example.com.
Chairperson Alissa Just handles the new, unwrapped toy drive, undertaken by the Soroptimist. They, too, are hoping the rush comes in during the last five days before the entire TCC program ends on Dec. 19. Please contact Alissa at 530-587-6681, ext. 11, for questions or help fill up the barrels at the entrance to Safeway, Save Mart, CVS, Rite-Aid, law offices, area banks, Sierra Sun, schools, real estate offices, and homeowner association clubhouses. They also need wrapping paper.
The Adopt A Senior program is being run by Sierra Senior Services and can be reached at 530-550-7600.
Truckee Community Christmas also accepts monetary donations which go toward grocery gift cards for recipients to purchase food and necessities as needed. Check out the Truckee Community Christmas website at www.truckeecommunitychristmas.com and all your questions should be answered. Thanks for helping provide a happy holiday season for us all.