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Kiwanis, community members begin gathering canned cheer

Kiwanis Christmas baskets food drive kicks off this week

The week after Thanksgiving, students in Oregon Trail schools, Boy Scouts of America and other organizations began collecting food for those who need it the most in the community this time of year.

Over the next couple weeks, Sandy’s schools, youth organizations, businesses and citizens will combine their efforts in bringing together the 2015 Sandy Kiwanis Community Christmas Baskets.

Every year, the local Kiwanis chapter organizes the community into gathering, assembling and delivering boxes of food, toiletries and toys to needy families in the area. Last year, they assembled 400 boxes.POST FILE PHOTO - Clackamas County Banks Jarrett Stuchlik walks among the 400 boxes assembled last year before sorting toys for children.

According to a news release issued by Sandy Fire District, “the students from the schools raise the majority of the canned food.”

The canned-food drive is spearheaded by the Leadership and Key Clubs at Sandy High School.

Once all the food is collected, food boxes are assembled by Kiwanis members and volunteers from SHS Leadership, the Key Club, Sandy FFA and the community.

The food collected by students is supplemented by Sandy Kiwanis funds and toy donations from the community.

Toys are being collected and donated by several local businesses and organizations. Anyone wishing to donate unwrapped gifts to the Christmas baskets can bring them to Sandy Fire main station, 17460 Bruns Ave., Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate, 39460 Proctor Blvd., Sandy’s Clackamas County Bank, 38975 Proctor Blvd., or Les Schwab Tires, 37895 Highway 26.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18, Sandy Kiwanis members invite interested community volunteers to join the annual Good Morning Santa event at St. Michael Catholic Church, 18090 S.E. Langensand Road.

Volunteers have the opportunity to complete the food boxes by playing Santa and selecting gifts for the children in each family. Kiwanis members will provide refreshments prior to putting volunteers to work.

Once the toys, food and necessities are all gathered, baskets are delivered with the help of volunteers to those who need them most. Sandy Fire District is now collecting applications for Christmas boxes, and families within the district are eligible.

Applications are available at the Sandy Fire main station and accepted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Boxes will be delivered to recipients between 8:30 and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. Deliveries are made with help from Sandy Fire personnel, youth organizations, businesses and community residents. If you would like to assist, please contact Martin Montgomery at 503-894-4382.

No time to help deliver, but still want to help? Monetary donations to aid in purchasing meat, fresh foods and additional canned goods can be sent to Kiwanis Community Christmas Baskets, P.O. Box 1261, Sandy, OR 97055.