Tag Archives: BTAC

UMe Credit Union Sponsors BTAC / Goodwill Donation Drive

Burbank Temporary Aid Center is doing a donation drive with Goodwill in the UMe parking lot, on Saturday, June 18 from 8:30am – noon.

Members of the Burbank community are invited to bring gently used clothing, accessories, electronics, e-media and household items to donate at the event. BTAC will earn money for every bin full of donated items. So, participating in this event helps TWO amazing organizations.

People can simply drive up and BTAC/Goodwill volunteers will unload their donation goods for them… It makes the actual act of donating super easy!

BTAC- Donation Drive Flyer FINAL Portrait

Ume Credit Union Hosts Food Drive To Help The Hungry

This May, UMeHelps will, for the fifth consecutive year, conduct its annual food drive benefitting BTAC (Burbank Temporary Aid Center).

In the spirit of “people helping people” (a cornerstone of the credit union social mission), UMe is collecting canned goods to support Burbank’s less fortunate. Donations benefit the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC), and are accepted May 2 – May 31, 2016.

The credit union is hosting the food drive through UMeHelps, an initiative that allows its members and the Burbank community at large to give back to local charities and individuals in need. UMeHelps supports local organizations with food and clothing drives, pet adoptions and fundraising efforts. Additionally, it promotes awareness of local programs in need of community support.

UMe is happy to support the BTAC, which has been providing short-term emergency assistance to the working poor, crime victims, seniors and the homeless since 1974.

To participate in the UMeHelps BTAC food drive, please bring nonperishable food items to the credit union during regular business hours throughout the month of May. Red donation tubs will be available throughout the lobby. Visit umecreditunion.com for a complete list of acceptable donation items, in the news & announcements section.

UMe is located at 3000 W. Magnolia Blvd. in the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Burbank.

You can drop off donations at the Credit Union anytime during the month of May.

BTAC accepts monetary donations or contributions of commercially prepared, unopened food. Canned good donations with easy-open pull-tabs are especially appreciated! Acceptable food donation items are as follows:

° Macaroni & Cheese

° Peanut Butter

° Boxed Cereals

° Canned Fruits

° Canned Vegetables

° Canned Meats (chicken, tuna, etc.)

° Rice

° Pasta

° Pasta Sauce

° Instant Potatoes

° Pancake Mixes

° Syrup

° Dried Fruit/Raisins

° Trail Mix

° Fruit Cups

° Instant Oatmeal

° Powdered Milk

° Evaporated Milk

° Personal Hygiene Supplies (toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant)

 

Cusumano Real Estate Group Receives BTAC’s Burbank Top Award for Citizenship

That giving spirit was felt around the room when supporters of Burbank Temporary Aid Center recognized the Cusumano Real Estate Group.

The Cusumano family and employees — who feel like family –received the BTAC, which is the acronym for the Burbank Top Award for Citizenship as well as the center. There were about 360 guests sharing in the excitement at the 13th annual dinner gala on March 4 at the Castaway Starlight Room.

Master of ceremonies Michael Hastings reminded people of how fortunate they were to be sitting at their tables enjoying a wonderful dinner.

“How many of those who BTAC serves would love to be in your seats tonight?” he asked the crowd. “I think that is something you should all think about as you are here tonight. Put yourself in someone else’s seat. BTAC reaches out to those who are less fortunate.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

After listing the dignitaries from City Council, city of Burbank, Burbank Police Department, School Board and others, Hastings asked all for a moment of silence in honor of community volunteer Barbara Sykes, who passed away in February. Sykes gave numerous hours to the Boys & Girls Club and Burbank Coordinating Council, to name a few.

“You can’t fill her shoes,” he said. “We’ve lost a great member of our community. I ask you tonight to look around the room and pick out 10 or 20 people who could fill her shoes. God bless her soul — Barbara Sykes.”

Ron Cogan, board of directors chair, said what a joy it was to be in a room surrounded by 300 or 400 people who will come together for the sole purpose of making our world a little better. He also sent out kudos to Chief Executive Officer Barbara Howell and her staff.

“They pull off the work of a crew two or three times their size,” he said. “I don’t know how you guys do it!”

Cogan thanked the crowd for giving “certainty” to people who are lacking it when it comes to essentials — a home filled with food and other needs.

BTAC Volunteer Terry Hassman-Paulin told the crowd how she started her second career after retiring from Kaiser Permanente. At the beginning, she feared she wouldn’t be able to relate to the clients and be compassionate to their needs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“But after a few weeks of service I began to see that what we share as human beings is greater than our differences,” she said. “They have hopes and dreams as much as we have.”

She shared a story about a man in his 20s who came to the center with just a backpack. After an interview, they gave him a sack lunch and some clothing and he met the job counselor who laid out a long range of options for short-term work and long-term career development.

“So in the course of a couple hours, this young man went from homeless and hopeless to someone with options and hope,” she said. “To me this was at least a minor miracle.”

Volunteering, she said in closing, is a “humbling and wonderful experience that I recommend to you all!”

Hastings conducted the official recognition portion of the evening, thanking the Cusumano family for the many organizations they support in the community, such as BTAC, Family Service Agency, Boys & Girls Club, Memorial Field, public and private schools and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“They are not just contributors, they are substantial stakeholders in everything that they do within this community,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer Howell said that when she approached the Cusumano family about being honored, they said no, that it has to be the Cusumano Real Estate Group because it takes everyone there to make it successful.

“When I was at their offices a few weeks ago, I realized we were honoring the Cusumano family because all the employees feel like they are family,” she said. “I just want to say thank you for all you do for the community, for us and the advice and the warmth you have given BTAC.”

Representing the family was Michael Cusumano.

“This honor is even more special to be given in front of a full room of people we’ve known for many years, for decades and that we love and respect,” he said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

He thanked the many people for filling the room in support of BTAC — a mainstay in the community for more than 40 years, which serves as a safety net for those in need.

“We are so fortunate to have this organization and we feel so fortunate to be a part of it and be able to support that community,” Cusumano said. “BTAC is more than just an organization, it is a group of fantastic people, employees, CEO, their fantastic volunteers, wonderful board of directors and donors who make it possible for them to do what they do in the community.”

Cusumano made special mention of longtime board member Darryl Forbes, who missed the dinner due to illness. Forbes joined the Burbank Fire Department in 1966. Over his 34-year career, he advanced through the ranks going from firefighter, engineer, captain and battalion chief and retired as fire marshal in 2000.

“Forbes represents so much of what BTAC is,” he said. “He has been with the organization since the beginning. The firefighters played a huge role in creating BTAC in the 1970s and Darryl has for 40 years been a big part of this organization and a board member for 17 years.”

Cusumano also thanked Michael Walbrecht for serving on so many boards in town including BTAC.

“For as long as I can remember, he has been a guiding light at BTAC,” he said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Cusumano also lauded the work of CEO Howell.

“There is no more committed a person in this community than Barbara Howell,” he said. “And over the past years I have worked with her, I have walked away from every community meeting in awe. She loves this community. She loves others more than herself. She has hundreds of clients and each one of them is an important person to her.”

He added how proud he is that so many Cusumano employees volunteer in so many capacities, including Jessa Freemyer, a volunteer with Burbank Noon Rotary and Leadership Burbank Alumni Assn.; Renee Johnson, who gives to Family Promise of the Verdugos and Leadership Burbank Alumni Assn.; and Barbara Bartman, who dedicates time to the Burbank Veterans Committee, Burbank Historical Society and Burbank On Parade.

Michael also recognized the founders of the company — his uncle Roger Cusumano and father Chuck Cusumano. He also introduced his brother, Charlie, who also works in the company; his is mother Diane and Roger’s wife Evelyn.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Proceeds from the gala help BTAC provide assistance to the homeless as well as those who just need help getting back on their feet after a layoff, Howell said. Someone might need job training. Others might need help playing their utilities or partial rent until they get another job. Proceeds also cover BTAC’s utility bills. For example, electricity is needed to run commercial refrigerators and freezers to store the food. Gas and water are needed to provide showers and laundry facilities for the homeless at the center.

“So proceeds will help BTAC better serve and reach more people,” Howell said.

A little known fact is that BTAC’s client base is only 10% homeless, she added. There are invisible thousands who come to get groceries, meet with case managers, receive help with paying their bills, find affordable housing, a second job or better paying job.

“By far the bulk of our time is spent helping people from becoming homeless,” she said.

Howell introduced her staff, Andrea Alejandre, Catherine Bourgeois, Francesca Gallard, Lucretia Rimmer, Edward Stapleton, Kelley Tabor and Alyson Westfall.

Serving on the dinner committee were Dee Call, Kimberley Clark, Jessa Freemyer, Maddy Horne, Nancy Gams Korb, Silvia Mancini, Linda Noel, Leslie Smith, Lauri Veverka and Vicki Williams.

The live auction item that brought the most excitement was a rescue dog –a 10-week-old Yorkie Terrier named Captain. His life will be filled with magical moments because he went home with Mike Thomas and his wife, Jamie Keyser Thomas from Disney Studios.

Mary Daly of Burbank won a three-month membership to the Burbank Community YMCA.

“I was hoping to start exercising so now I’m forced into it,” she said with a laugh.

Link to additional photo gallery:http://rossbensonphotography.photoreflect.com/store/thumbpage.aspx?e=9785627

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

 

 

Food Drive Before BIG GAME Will Benefit BTAC

Attendees at the football homecoming games this week at Memorial Field may notice the collection of canned goods and other non-perishable items. The collection is for a homecoming food drive.

Post cards and automated calls, and information on Burbank and John Burroughs high schools’ websites have announced the food drive.

Charmalee Magoon and her daughter Alyssa Magoon (  JBHS Class '16) at the 2014 BTAC Food Drive

Charmalee Magoon and her daughter Alyssa Magoon ( JBHS Class ’16) at the 2014 BTAC Food Drive at Memorial Field

The homecoming food drive benefits the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) and is now in its third year. The idea for the food drive started with Charmalee Magoon, whose four children attend Burbank schools, with two of them at John Burroughs High School.

Magoon said she joined the National Charity League, a nonprofit that focuses on community service and mother-daughter relationships when her daughter was going into eighth grade. Magoon was invited to join by a member.

The National Charity League was established in Los Angeles in 1925, and incorporated in 1958, according to its website. Their mission is to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. NCL’s Burbank chapter helps over 25 local charities.

Burbank’s NCL chapter organizes monthly food drives for BTAC, Olivia Boyce, co-president, said in an email, adding that different grade levels are responsible for a food drive for a different month. For the homecoming food drive, the entire chapter will be participating to help get ready for the holidays, which can be a difficult time for many families.

Magoon said she and her daughter Alyssa have been members of NCL since Alyssa, was in eighth grade.

“My daughter is now a senior this year at John Burroughs,” she said.

When Alyssa was younger, she was a Girls Scout, and started as a Brownie, Magoon said. But by middle school, they were in search of something else, something that focused more on volunteer work on a consistent basis.

Magoon was also familiar with BTAC and had been donating to the organization for some time.

“BTAC has always been one of my favorite philanthropies,” Magoon said. “They really do good service for people that need help. When my daughter was a baby, my husband and I fell on hard times and couldn’t pay our electric bill. Someone mentioned BTAC might be able to help, and they did help. They paid the bill in full, and we were able to keep the power on. I try to give back to them, ever since.”

Magoon said once, while her daughter was in Girl Scouts, her troop made lunches for BTAC. With her work in NCL and desire to keep giving back to BTAC, the idea for the homecoming food drive began to take shape.

“I’ve helped any way I can over the years, and thought, ‘What a better way to do a community food drive?’ There are so many past alumni that go to this game,” Magoon said of the Burroughs-Burbank football game. “There are kids in college who come back just to go to this game, and there are so many Burbank families that are second and third generation [alumni].”

“So why can’t they bring a couple of cans of food with them?” Magoon thought.

It’s become a little competition between the two schools, she said.

As for who has brought the most non-perishable items, Magoon said the score is tied.

Magoon added: “If everybody brought one thing, imagine how much we could take back to BTAC.”
__________________________________________________

Attendees to this week’s games are asked to bring non-perishable food items, toiletries and baby items.

Collection times are as follows:

Freshman game — Thursday, Nov. 5th, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
JV game — Thursday, Nov. 5th, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Varsity game — Friday, Nov. 6th, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All games take place at Memorial Field, at John Burroughs High School, at 1920 W. Clark Ave.

BTAC Honors Saint Joseph Hospital at Its Annual Fundraising Gala

Hundreds of community notables attended Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s annual fundraising gala last Friday, March 6, at the Castaway’s Verdugo Room. “Funds raised tonight will touch the lives of more than 10,000 members of our community,” states BTAC Board Chair Ronald Sorensen in his program letter. “And without this annual dinner, BTAC would not be able to serve as many people as need assistance.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For the past 41 years, BTAC has been providing homeless adults and their children with groceries, sack lunches, toiletries and temporary lodgings. On a more limited basis, BTAC has also helped others avoid the descent into the streets by helping with the rent and utilities as they got back on their feet.
Master of Ceremonies Gary Olson, who also serves as President of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, reminded his audience that Los Angeles County is the “homeless capital of the nation.” Weather is a big factor, underscored by the evening’s warm Santa Ana breeze while much of the country continues to freeze. The Great Recession has been another factor, turning dual incomes into dual pink slips.
And for some who come to Burbank with dreams of Hollywood success, the hard reality is sitting on cold concrete as the indifferent stars wheel overhead.
Long ago, the Burbank community decided to see the awful face of homelessness rather than avert its eyes. Individual volunteers and businesses stepped forward to help, inspiring BTAC to combine fundraising with recognition: the Burbank Top Award for Citizenship.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This year the award went to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center for their selfless medical services to the homeless, including free flu shots (which also makes it easier for BTAC staff to stay healthy) and medical advice. “For some BTAC clients, it’s the first quality time they’ve had with a medical professional ever,” remarked BTAC Chief Executive Officer Barbara Howell. Sr. Sheila Browne, RSM, Director of Mission Leadership, accepted the award on behalf of Saint Joseph.

As evidenced by rousing cheers from the audience another piece of heartwarming news is the return of Terry Walker to Saint Joseph’s senior staff.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Barry Gussow welcomes Terry Walker back to the community during BTAC’s announcement. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The program also spotlighted Edward Stapleton, who serves the critical post of BTAC’s Pantry and Facility Manager. Edward explains that he works to “secure the freshest fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk and other supplies. On a daily basis, our team of volunteers sorts through canned goods and fresh food to make sure they are in good condition and meet expiration date requirements.” Edward has been with BTAC for 15 years, in large part because co-workers and volunteers alike “are very dedicated to serving those in need. This is what makes working at BTAC so enjoyable.”

Police Donate to Temporary Aid Center for Holidays

The Burbank Police Officers’ Association and the Burbank Police Department Command Staff presented Executive Director, Barbara Howell and the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) a check in the amount of $1,500.00. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, BTAC will distribute more than 1,000 turkeys, serving over 500 households in Burbank.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BTAC has already begun distributing Thanksgiving food. But the most intense time will begin this week and continue through mid-day on Wednesday, November 26th. The holiday food consists of the “traditional” items of turkey, (sometimes hams for Christmas), stuffing, potatoes, pies, etc., plus pancake mix and syrup.

Sergeant Claudio Losacco, President of the BPOA, commented, “The members of the Burbank Police Officers’ Association are grateful to be part of such a fantastic community. We are happy to support such a worthwhile mission. We hope that through this donation BTAC is able to assist and support our neighbors in the community who need help during the holiday season.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Temporary Aid Center is dedicated to provide the poor, working poor and homeless of the local community with basic services they need to live with dignity, and to serve citizens of the city in times of emergency and disaster.

BTAC is located at 1304 West Burbank Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91506 – (818) 848-2822 Monday – Friday 9:00 am-12:00 pm & 1:30 pm-5:00 pm.

Football Fans Urged To Donate For BTAC At BHS And JBHS Homecoming Games

The National Charity League coordinates their second annual food drive to benefit the Burbank Temporary Aid Center and urges Burbank football fans to donate non-perishable food and hygiene items for BTAC at the BHS and Burroughs homecoming games on Thursday, November 6, and Friday, November 7.

“We are asking that each person attending a homecoming game bring a couple of non-perishable food items, such as a can of soup or box of pasta,” said Kimberley Clark, Public Information Officer for the Burbank Unified School District. “Hygiene items such as bars of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes are needed, as well. In addition, baby formula and diapers are always appreciated.”

NCLfooddrive

Volunteers from the NCL will collect donated items at the entrance gates to Burbank’s Memorial Field, at John Burroughs High School. NCL began the food drive to benefit BTAC in 2013.

The food drive also kicks off the NCL’s membership drive, according to Arlina Mayor from the national service organization’s Burbank chapter.

The Burbank chapter of the NCL was chartered in 1960 and organized by grade level from seventh grade to twelfth grade. Burbank NCL coordinates charitable activities by mother-daughter teams, integrating with social, cultural, leadership and philanthropic training.

“If you are planning to attend the Alumni Association’s Pregame Homecoming Tailgate Party in the district office parking lot, our volunteers can take your donations there, as well,” added Clark. “Let’s show how much community spirit we have and make this BTAC Food Drive a huge success. Let’s go, Bulldogs and Indians!”

The Alumni Association’s Pregame Homecoming Tailgate Party begins at 5:00 p.m. in the BUSD district office parking lot.

Gates open at Memorial Field at 3:00 p.m. for the Thursday, November 6, homecoming game and at 5:00 p.m. for the Friday, November 7, game.

The Burbank Temporary Aid Center was founded in 1974 and since that time has been providing short-term emergency assistance to Burbank’s working poor, homeless, senior citizens and crime victims through a variety of programs.

 

UMe Credit Union Once Again Accepting Toys for “Santa’s Room”

As a long standing Burbank Credit Union, UMe is committed to supporting the local community. For the third consecutive year, UMeHelps — a community focused outreach program of UMe Credit Union — will be collecting toys, books and games to support “Santa’s Room.”

Me, UME -3Santa’s Room is a Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC) program that collects toys, books and games for Burbank children who otherwise would not have presents to look forward to on Christmas morning. The program helps to fulfill children’s Christmas wishes by supporting parents under financial strain. Local parents who request assistance with Christmas gifts are able to visit Santa’s Room to “shop” for their children and choose from the donated gifts.

Through UMeHelps, the UMe Credit Union and its members, along with the Burbank community, can give back to local charities and individuals in need. UMeHelps has supported local organizations by conducting food and clothing drives, pet adoptions, participating in fundraising efforts and building awareness of local programs that people in the community can help support.

Me, UME -4To participate in the UMeHelps Santa’s Room Toy Drive, please bring new, unwrapped toys to the Credit Union from November 3 through December 5, 2014. Visit umecreditunion.com for a link to a complete list of acceptable donation items, found in the “news and announcements section” on the home page or see the list below.

In the spirit of the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” – we’re asking UMe members to help us collect new toy donations for the Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s “Santa’s Room” program. Donation items should be new and unwrapped – and may be dropped off at the Credit Union, November 3 through December 5, during business hours.

Acceptable toy donation items are as follows:

  • Action Figures & Collectibles
  • Arts & Crafts Items
  • Bikes, Skates & Skateboards
  • Blocks
  • Board Games
  • Books
  • Building & Construction Sets
  • Cars, Trucks & Accessories
  • CDs
  • Dolls & Accessories
  • Electronics
  • iTunes Gift Cards
  • Learning & Educational Toys
  • Legos
  • Movies
  • Musical Instruments
  • Play Vehicles
  • Pretend Play & Dress Up
  • Puppets
  • Puzzles
  • Radio Control Toys
  • Sports & Outdoor Play Items
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Teen Jewelry

NOTE: Donation items received after this year’s Santa’s Room shopping dates will be added to next year’s Santa’s Room.

UMe is located at 3000 W. Magnolia Blvd. in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank. For more information, please call Anita Hutchinson at (818) 238.2900 x240.

Third Annual UMeHelps BTAC Food Drive Begins

Starting May 1, UMe Credit Union kicked off it’s 3rd annual food drive benefitting BTAC (Burbank Temporary Aid Center.)

UMeHelps BTAC Donation Items-FINALUnder the UMeHelps program, UMe Credit Union continues to help many local residents by partnering with non-profit groups to support the city of Burbank through aid programs. As a not-for-profit company itself, these partnerships build on a strong tradition that the credit union has in support of the local community. UMeHelps was created to help bridge the gap for those in need, fostering a “neighbors helping neighbors” idea of community service through its membership.

The 3rd annual food drive is in partnership with BTAC, a Burbank non-profit dedicated to providing the poor, working poor, and homeless of our local community with basic goods and services. Their efforts allow residents in need to live with dignity. They also serve citizens of the city in times of emergency and disaster.

To participate in the UMeHelps BTAC food drive, please bring nonperishable food items to the credit union during regular business hours throughout the month of May. Red donation tubs will be available throughout the lobby

In the spirit of the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” – we’re asking UMe members to help us collect donations for the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC). You can drop off donations at the Credit Union anytime during the month of May.

BTAC accepts monetary donations or contributions of commercially prepared, unopened food. Canned good donations with easy-open pull-tabs are especially appreciated! Acceptable food donation items are as follows:

° Macaroni & Cheese

° Peanut Butter

° Boxed Cereals

° Canned Fruits

° Canned Vegetables

° Canned Meats (chicken, tuna, etc.)

° Rice

° Pasta

° Pasta Sauce

° Instant Potatoes

° Pancake Mixes

° Syrup

° Dried Fruit/Raisins

° Trail Mix

° Fruit Cups

° Instant Oatmeal

° Powdered Milk

° Evaporated Milk

° Personal Hygiene Supplies (toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant)

Local Business Collects Presents For Temporary Aid Center

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Temporary Aid Center hosted its annual Santa’s Room this past week for its clients. On December 18, one of the two days of service, more than 100 parents selected gifts for their children. Volunteers from Logix Federal Credit Union restocked shelves and guided parents through Santa’s Room to select the perfect gifts.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We are proud to be donating our time to Santa’s Room for a third consecutive year,” said Alethia Calagias, Community Relations Specialist at Logix. “Our employees are grateful for the opportunity to make the shopping experience special for BTAC clients. When the kids open their presents, the joy is contagious – the families deserve to have that warm feeling this holiday season.”

 

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

During the day, the Burbank Fire Department dropped off more gifts and the Police Department sent an officer to help distribute presents. To participate, clients register with BTAC and make an appointment to visit Santa’s Room. And, members of the community and local businesses donate toys, gift cards, games, dolls, books and more. Volunteers sort the gifts for the appropriate ages – from newborns to teens – and are those items are placed in different rooms for parents to select the presents.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Our clients look forward to deciding what gifts their children receive,” said Dee Call, BTAC Board Member and Santa’s Room organizer. “We used to look at the children’s wish lists and package the gifts for them. Now, they are part of the process and we give them paper and tape to wrap them at home. It’s rewarding for them and the volunteers.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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