United for Action discusses violence prevention, Toys for Tots, Thanksgiving at October meeting

Kayla Anderson / Special to the Tribune

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – One of the main virtues of most faith-based organizations in North Lake Tahoe is to “love thy neighbor”, and a lot of work goes into helping community members in need. United for Action is a North Lake Tahoe/Truckee community coalition of local activists and faith-based congregations who collaborate with other nonprofits, family resource centers, governments, health agencies, and more to foster peace and elevate the quality of life for everyone in Lake Tahoe.

While there is a lot of discussion at every meeting trying to find solutions for the housing and homelessness problem in the area (United for Action made that a primary focus for the years 2021-23), the October meeting also covered topics such as the recent Winter Warmth & Wellness event; the upcoming Toys for Tots initiative; the 2023 community Thanksgiving dinner; the Sierra Community House’s violence prevention/youth empowerment efforts; and more.

Sierra Community House’s Violence Prevention Efforts

Established in 2019, the Sierra Community House provides hunger relief services, crisis intervention & prevention, family support, and mediation/legal assistance. In its crisis prevention field, Sierra Community House is going into local schools to educate students on violence prevention.

The goal of this program is to strengthen knowledge and actions around preventing violence by educating all members of our community of all ages–including local businesses, community groups and organizations–on critical issues such as personal safety & empowerment, self-defense, prevention of sexual harassment & abusive conduct in the workplace, gender diversity and inclusion, teen dating violence, cyber safety for parents, bullying prevention for parents, bystander intervention, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault, among others.

For instance, Sierra Community House talks to 1st-5th graders on topics that include bullying and emotional validation; and 6th-8th graders about sexual harassment, teen dating violence, gender stereotypes, and fostering/maintaining healthy relationships.

They work with all schools within the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and encourage parents and community partners to receive this education as well. UFA Team Leader Rev. Clare Novak asked if there were any specific hot topics within this list of offerings.

Sierra Community House Community Education & Prevention Program Coordinator Christine Popp replied, “Cyber safety and technology use are huge across all grades of what parents are interested in discussing. The need is there, and we can provide help with how to navigate that and resources”.

To schedule a workshop for your church, business, or civic/parent organization; contact Christine Popp at 775-298-0174 or

2023 Toys for Tots

Planning for this year’s Toys for Tots is now underway, as volunteers start picking up boxes and getting them to retailers across Truckee/North Lake Tahoe. Toys for Tots organizers are starting to take applications for those who wish to receive toys (people can inquire about that at the Boys & Girls Club in Kings Beach, Tahoe Family Solutions in Incline Village, and the Sierra Community House in Kings Beach). The Toys for Tots giveaway is scheduled for December 16.

“We’re always looking for volunteers and parties. A lot of offices have started donating to Toys for Tots in lieu of a white elephant exchange and it helps a lot of families that way. We try to make it as hassle free and fun as possible,” said Toys for Tots Local Coordinator Meera Beser.

Monetary donations and new unwrapped toys are welcome, and there are ways to give online as well as at the in-person bins at dozens of shops in North Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe City coordinator said that they could use some help in delivering full bins of toys to the giveaway site as it gets closer to December 16th; pickup trucks and vans are most helpful to take boxes full of toys.

Tahoe Neighborhood Table to Host 14th Annual Thanksgiving

North Tahoe’s 14th Annual Community Thanksgiving Celebration (and a kickoff for Toys for Tots) will be held Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, from 2-6 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. Tahoe Neighborhood Table is always looking for help and donations for turkeys, pies, money, potluck dishes; cooking in the kitchen; decorating and serving in the dining room; and delivering food. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Deborah Hakam at

Recap of the October 21st Winter Warmth & Wellness event

The Tahoe Neighborhood Table held its annual Winter Warmth & Wellness event just in time, as temperatures dropped into their teens that week. 250 families in need could stock up on personal care items, household/laundry items, blankets/comforters/sheets, winter clothing, non-perishable foods, and more for the chilly months.

Many of the Incline Village churches such as The Village Church, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Cornerstone Community Church, and St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church collected items and attended the event, sharing information and resources on winter preparedness along with the Sierra Community House and other agencies.

“It was a success, but it is still sad that we serve 250 families,” Organizer Lorena Herrera said.

“It’s sad that this is so needed but uplifting that people come together for this,” Novak added.

The date of the next meeting has yet to be announced. United for Action meets monthly via Zoom; to get on its email list for upcoming meetings, reach out to

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