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Spreading the holiday cheer

Interested in helping a local family in need this holiday season? There’s a Facebook group for that.

Created by Jodie Fisher-Argubright, “Estacada for the Holidays, Neighbors Helping Neighbors” matches donors with families in need of Christmas gifts.

By joining the group, members can privately message Fisher-Argubright suggesting a family that could use gifts this Christmas or sign up to help a family.

Fisher-Argubright lives in Happy Valley but is connected to the community because her husband, Jeff, is an Estacada police officer.

She was inspired to start the group after seeing people searching for adopt-a-family opportunities in the Estacada Neighborhood Watch Facebook group.

She brought up the idea of starting a group, and there was a lot of interest.

“There was so much positive response,” she said. “I created the group and within a day 100 people had joined.”

As of Nov. 19, 18 families have been adopted.

Gifts are scheduled to be dropped off at the Odd Fellows Hall on Dec. 13, and Fisher-Argubright and her husband will deliver the gifts the third week of December

Fisher-Argubright’s family typically volunteers during the holidays, but this is the first time she’s organized others.

“Our family has always donated somewhere and we wondered where we would this year,” she said. “I wanted to create something where all of the donations went directly to the families.”

The aspect of the project that stands out the most to Fisher-Argubright is how fast it’s moved.

“Everyone’s coming together,” she said. “It’s been something positive to work toward.”

Fisher-Argubright sees community-building as a central aspect of the project.

“The group is called neighbors helping neighbors,” she said. “It’s about trying to help the community. I wanted to create a local opportunity — it’s helping people in town, by people in town.”

Fisher-Argubright is happy to facilitate these connections. “I want to be an avenue to connect people,” she said.

She believes lots of people instinctively to want to give during the holiday season.

“A lot of avenues for giving arise during the holidays,” she said. “With a lot of horrible things happening in the world lately, people just want to be a part of something positive, and this is a good way to do that.”

Though there have been many donors, one in particular stands out to her.

“An eight year old boy told his mom to not get him any presents and to donate instead,” she said. “It’s just something else.”

She hopes the group continues in future years.

“I hope it happens next year with or without me,” she said. “People really seem to want to give. It’s great. I wish every city had something like this.”

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