Tag Archives: holiday baskets

Coordinating Council’s Annual Holiday Baskets Program is Team Effort

Until one climbs into the trenches, it is hard to realize the effort that goes into the Burbank Coordinating Council’s annual Holiday Baskets Program.

 Volunteers organize the toys during the Burbank Coordinating Council's Holiday Basket program on Friday at Washington Elementary School  (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Volunteers organize the toys during the Burbank Coordinating Council’s Holiday Basket program on Friday at Washington Elementary School (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

But hundreds of volunteers — first-timers and veterans — worked last week to see that more than 500 families had food and gifts this joyful season. Recipients are low-income families who have children enrolled in the government-sponsored lunch program at the elementary schools.

Churches, businesses, PTAs, organizations and individuals adopted families and filled bags with food and gifts.

Families that weren’t adopted received bags of food and gifts organized by Coordinating Council members and volunteers. The effort began on Dec. 6 when volunteers, stationed in front of grocery stores throughout the city, collected donations of nonperishable food items from shoppers. Volunteers sorted and packed the donations on Dec. 10 at Little White Chapel Church.

 Danielle Boyce, 15, left, of National Charity League, signs in to volunteer at the Holiday Basket Program with Sally Veres, treasurer of National Charity League  (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Danielle Boyce, 15, left, of National Charity League, signs in to volunteer at the Holiday Basket Program with Sally Veres, treasurer of National Charity League (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Food, gifts and toy donations were brought to the Washington Elementary School auditorium on Dec. 12 where volunteers filled bags according to cards that listed the number of family members and ages of children.

Two volunteers who helped on Dec. 12 were Sally Veres, treasurer with National Charity League Burbank, and daughter Samantha, who is a member of the 10th grade Ticktocker class. The class adopted three families this year and worked the night before to put them together, Veres said.

“We bought gifts cards and shower gel for the teenagers, shower gel for the men and toys for the younger kids,” she said. “We bought grocery store gift cards for parents.”

The Ticktockers placed the donations in big laundry baskets, plastic storage boxes and cardboard boxes wrapped with Christmas paper, Veres added.

 Rachel Smith, 12, left, fills a bag of gift items with Erin Flynn during the Burbank Coordinating Council's Holiday Baskets program  (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Rachel Smith, 12, left, fills a bag of gift items with Erin Flynn during the Burbank Coordinating Council’s Holiday Baskets program (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

It is a great lesson in giving for the Ticktockers, she said.

“I think it brings awareness that there are people that need help and at various times people need extra help,” she said. “It teaches them giving back to someone else. For
me, helping Coordinating Council is my favorite thing to do. President Janet Diel and all the Coordinating Council members are just great to work with.”

Danielle Boyce, 15, who is also a 10th-grade Ticktocker, was packing bags with fruit and gifts on Dec. 12.

“It’s one of the events that’s really rewarding,” she said. “You get to see the results of what you are doing and how much it impacts people.”

Volunteering on the project with her mom made the whole experience more meaningful, Danielle said.

“It’s a way for us to connect and do something together other than a hobby and do something for the world together,” she said.

 Like Santa's elves, volunteers scurry to fill baskets of food, gifts and toys at Washington Elementary School  (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Like Santa’s elves, volunteers scurry to fill baskets of food, gifts and toys at Washington Elementary School (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

More volunteers converged at Washington Elementary’s lunch shelter at 8 a.m. on Dec. 13 and helped to deliver bags of donations to recipients.

Many of the volunteer workers were former recipients coming back to give to the program and others are current recipients who want to share the work to help everyone, not just themselves, said Coordinating Council President Janet Diel.
Volunteers who made the deliveries had heartwarming stories to share.

“One lady came back and told us that the family who received their basket was so overwhelmed with the generosity of the gift, that they offered to let the driver take back some so another family could benefit too…there were tears and hugs,” Diel said. “It seems the families who have the least are the most concerned with helping others too.”

 Volunteers fill bags with food and gifts on Friday to prepare for Saturday's delivery. More than 500 families received the donations in the Burbank Coordinating Council's Holiday Basket program  (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Volunteers fill bags with food and gifts on Friday to prepare for Saturday’s delivery. More than 500 families received the donations in the Burbank Coordinating Council’s Holiday Basket program (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Burbank Coordinating Council Holiday Baskets Program Asks For Donations And Volunteers

The Burbank Coordinating Council Holiday Baskets program is underway, with food and toy drives currently being held in local schools. On Saturday, December 6, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., the Burbank Coordinating Council (BCC) conducts its annual December donation drive at 12 stores throughout Burbank.

In addition to donations needed to fulfill over 500 holiday baskets for local families in need, BCC are asking for volunteers to help collect donations on Saturday. For Burbank high school students in need of service hours, volunteering with the BCC is a great way to help out and fulfill graduation requirements, said Janet Diel, BCC President and co-chair of the Holiday Baskets program.

Food donations for Burbank Coordinating Council Holiday Baskets in this photo from December 2013. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Food donations for Burbank Coordinating Council Holiday Baskets in this photo from December 2013. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

“You can work a 2, 4, 6, or 8 hour shift collecting food outside one of 12 stores in the city,” Diel said. “So many families would go without food and gifts for their holiday without you! Come and join us and you will always be glad you did.”

BCC began the annual Holiday Baskets program in 1936 as a way of helping local families celebrate the Christmas season with food and gifts.

“It takes everyone working together to make this tremendous project happen each year,” Diel said. “There are so many ways and days to help — pick one or pick all. Don’t miss the chance to come and ‘feel good’ being a donor or volunteer. It is an experience you will always remember.”

On Wednesday, December 10, volunteers gather at the Little White Chapel to pack food bags between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m. On Friday, December 12, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., volunteers are needed to move the food bags from the Little White Chapel to Washington Elementary School.

Firefighters prepare to deliver holiday packages. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Coordinating Council)

Firefighters prepare to deliver holiday packages. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Coordinating Council)

That same day, Friday, December 12, volunteers are needed to build un-adopted baskets at Washington Elementary School in the auditorium from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.

While many local service groups and businesses adopt entire families and donate pre-packaged baskets, there are still many baskets to be packed for all of the applicant families.

Saturday, December 13, is delivery day for the baskets and the BCC needs help between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

“If you are still wanting to adopt a family or donate to the program, please go to our website at www.burbankcoordinatingcouncil.org for more details and the donor form to fill out and email back to us at ccholidaybaskets@aol.com,” added Diel. “Or, call us anytime at (818) 216-9377 or (818) 238-7647.”

Those wishing to volunteer on Saturday, December 6, for the food drive are asked to call Barbara Salamon (818) 843-7571 for details and a store assignment.

Diel also encourages school children throughout Burbank and their families to turn in donations for classroom food drives, currently being held a schools in the Burbank Unified School District.

 

Burbank Coordinating Council Food Drive Volunteers Needed

The Burbank Coordinating Council kicks off its annual food drive donation season on Saturday, October 11, at 12 local grocery stores. Volunteers are still needed to help collect donated food, said Barbara Salamon, the volunteer coordinator for the BCC.

“Adults and children are welcome to volunteer,” Salamon added. “It’s a great way for high school students to get service hours, too.”

Burbank Coordinating Council President Janet Diel (left) and volunteer coordinator Barbara Salamon ask for volunteers for the annual Holiday Baskets food drive. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Burbank Coordinating Council President Janet Diel (left) and volunteer coordinator Barbara Salamon ask for volunteers for the annual Holiday Baskets food drive. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

While volunteers will collect food items for eight hours on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., even volunteering for an hour or two is helpful, she continued.

An additional food drive will be held on Saturday, December 6, to collect final items for the annual Holiday Baskets program. The Holiday Baskets program draws together resources and support from Burbank businesses, service clubs, schools and individuals to provide food and gifts for local needy families.

Last year, over 500 families were delivered food and gifts. As of October 6, the BCC has received applications from 311 families. Applications can be found at Burbank Unified schools.

The Burbank Coordinating Council has been serving Burbank since 1933. People and local organizations wishing to help the BCC on Saturday, October 11, should contact Barbara Salamon at (818) 843-7571 or countrylady2009@yahoo.com.

Some of the food collected at the 2013 food drive. Volunteers are needed for the 2014 Holiday Baskets donation drive which kicks off Saturday, October 11, in Burbank. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Some of the food collected at the 2013 food drive. Volunteers are needed for the 2014 Holiday Baskets donation drive which kicks off Saturday, October 11, in Burbank. (Photo By Ross A. Benson)

 

Burbank Coordinating Council Announces Food Drive, Holiday Baskets Schedule

At the Burbank Coordinating Council (BCC) meeting on Monday, October 7, at the Little White Chapel, the service group President, Janet Diel, discussed the upcoming schedule for the annual Holiday Baskets charity event. The first food drive will be held at numerous area grocery stores this Saturday, October 12, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Volunteers are still needed to help staff the various locations, collecting food donations from shoppers.

Dave Golonski discusses the Holiday Baskets program, as Janet Diel looks on. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Dave Golonski discusses the Holiday Baskets program, as Janet Diel looks on. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The second food drive event will be on Saturday, December 7. After the food has been collected, the items will be transported to the Little White Chapel, sorted and packed, on Wednesday, December 11, for delivery. On Friday, December 13, the food bags are moved to Washington Elementary School auditorium where they are combined with donated gift items into baskets created for each individual family and their members. On Saturday, December 14, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., hundreds of volunteers help deliver hundreds of baskets to the families throughout Burbank. Last year, more than 675 baskets were delivered to needy families.

“We work so hard to make sure the holidays are special for everyone, no matter what the income level,” comments Mrs. Diel. “No child should ever go without the joy of special food and gifts!”

Holiday Baskets Co-Chairperson Dave Golonski spoke for a few minutes about the program. Over 230 applications have already been received. While most families’ Holiday Baskets are “adopted” by another family, group or business, the need for more donors grows from year to year. Another big challenge mentioned for the BCC was finding gifts for teens.

Stores like the Handy Market donate fresh fruits and vegetables for the baskets, while other stores donate breads and the nearby studios always send gift items for children and adults, explains Mrs. Diel. “We depend on the generosity of the entire community to make this project a success each year.”

Dr. Tom Kissinger, BUSD Director of Elemntary Education, and Steve Fritner, Burbank PTA President, attended the BCC luncheon. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Dr. Tom Kissinger, BUSD Director of Elemntary Education, and Steve Fritner, Burbank PTA President, attended the BCC luncheon. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The BCC organizes the efforts of the numerous schools, churches, PTAs, service organizations, individuals and city departments into creating and delivering baskets of food and gifts for families in the Burbank area. Families send in applications for Holiday Baskets via the free lunch program at the schools.

At Monday’s luncheon, Food Drive Chairperson Barbara Salamon detailed the list of volunteer groups already committed to staff certain food drive locations. She also emphasized the need for more volunteers. In fact, the BCC needs more volunteers for not just the food drives, but in building and delivering the baskets in December.

Mrs. Diel mentions the BCC gives service learning hours for teen volunteers and that this program is a great way connect with the larger Burbank community. She notes that some past recipients of the Holiday Baskets program return and help out with volunteering and donations. More information can be found at the BCC website. The BCC welcomes all volunteers and donations, large and small.