Donors and Volunteers Needed NOW for Holiday Baskets

Barbara Sykes sorts and lines up some of the items that will be included in this years packages. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Barbara Sykes sorts and lines up some of the items that will be included in this years packages. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Coordinating Council needs your help with holiday baskets, or it could be a bleak Christmas for many families in our city.


This year they have received over 550 requests for baskets.  Nearly 400 of those have been adopted by donors.  However, as of this afternoon the group has 154 requests that they don’t have donors to adopt, with more requests coming in, according to Janet Diel and Barbara Sykes, co-chairmen of the Holiday Basket project.

The Coordinating Councils Jocye Rudolff and Janet Diel check some of the hundreds of bags that will be delivered Saturday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We will fill them,“ said Sykes, “We won’t let anyone down who depends on us for help.”

In order to keep that pledge, the group needs help.  Please donate non-perishable food items, and unwrapped gifts for children.  They especially need gifts appropriate to 9-12 year-olds, who have outgrown little kid toys.  Toiletry item and gift cards for teens are especially good to donate.  They group also takes cash and check donations.  The Coordinating Council is a non-profit organization and can provide you with a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

“This year there are more families in need,” said Diel, “Demand is up because of the economy and so many people out of work.”

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Diel and Sykes will be leading volunteers this afternoon and into the night matching up food donations with families that haven’t been adopted.  They will be in the auditorium of George Washington Elementary School, 2322 N. Lincoln St., from 3 to 8 p.m. — or later today.  Volunteers are welcome to come and help out.

If you can’t help today, more volunteers are need Saturday starting at 8 a.m., when the baskets will be delivered.   With over 500 baskets to deliver, it is an all-day effort.  The distribution center will be on the playground of Washington School.  Deliveries will continue until all the baskets are given out.   Families are encouraged to come out and help.

Can you HELP deliver some of these ??? (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is a wonderful opportunity for a family activity,” said Diel, who encourages parents to bring their children and experience the special Christmas spirit that this project generates.

Every year since 1946, the Coordinating Council has collected food and gifts to present to for less fortunate families at Christmastime.  Schools, organizations, businesses, and individuals have adopted families, providing a small gift for each person in the family, non-perishable food items, and a gift certificate to purchase perishable food for their holiday dinner.  The group is made up of representatives from the various civic organizations, churches, school PTA’s, and individuals in Burbank.  The group’s purpose, as the name implies, is to coordinate the work of the various member organizations so that they are not duplicating services unnecessarily.

To make a donation you can go in person to Washington Elementary School today, or call Barbara Sykes at (818) 238-7647.