OPPORTUNITIES FOR VOLUNTEERS AND THOSE IN NEED
CORRECTION: After publication, the first day of the Toy Bank registration changed. The new first day of registration for Toy Bank will be Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Plymouth Congregational Church, at 1301 Oak St.
Join all of us at PASO Magazine this holiday season as we take time to reflect and remember those among us seeking help, understanding, and compassion in their time of need.
We encourage our readers to learn more about the many events taking place benefiting those in need and the organizations in our community helping to ensure no one is alone or forgotten this holiday season. Whether you need help, or you want to volunteer, opportunities abound.
GATHER TOGETHER ON THANKSGIVING
The 33rd annual Thanksgiving for Paso Robles brings our community together as a family to prepare and enjoy a traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. The free feast, prepared by volunteers and made possible by donations, is served from noon to 2 p.m. at the Centennial Park Activity Center, located at 600 Nickerson Drive.
Traditional fixings, from oven-roasted turkey and country ham to mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, pies, and more are plated up and served with the finest dinnerware.
“I’ve said it before, but this really is like a big family gathering,” said Board Chairman David Kudija. “We encourage those with any need – financial or social – to join us. Everyone can expect to experience an amazing meal, shared with friends, and served on china plates just like in a fancy restaurant.”
Free transportation to the event or delivery of meals is available; call Kudija at (805) 239-4137 or email Tg4Paso@gmail.com before noon on Friday, Nov. 17 to make arrangements. As we went to press, Kudija said the event was in need of a new chef to direct the volunteers in the preparation of the meals; call him at the above number if interested.
HELP IS NEEDED!
• Send a tax-deductible monetary donation to: Thanksgiving for Paso Robles, P.O. Box 662, Paso Robles, CA 93447
• Volunteer! Volunteers MUST pre-registered; no walk-in volunteers please. Must be 13 years or over; 16 years or older to work in the kitchen. Click on the “volunteer” button at www.thanksgivingforpasorobles.com for a list of volunteer opportunities; email tg4paso@gmail, or call Kudija at (805) 239-4137 before Nov. 12.
DAY OF GIVING RETURNS DECEMBER 16
The 23rd annual Day of Giving happens at the Paso Robles Event Center on Dec. 16. This event – a true celebration – provides toys, coats, and a holiday meal to 500-600 local families with more than 1,500 children from Paso Robles, San Miguel, Bradley, Shandon, and Heritage Ranch.
Donations of nearly $50,000 in cash, toys, and food, along with nearly 10,000 volunteer hours, make this happen. Partnering together, the Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, Coats for Kids, the Salvation Army, and the community at large ensure a happy holiday season for the families. The Central Coast Woodworkers bring handcrafted baby cradles, complete with baby dolls and blankets, for the enjoyment of the children.
All families MUST pre-register! Bring identification, proof of income and residence, and birth certificate for each child up to age 16. Registration happens at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1301 Oak St. in Paso Robles: Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Thursday, Nov. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 17, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 27, 3-5 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 1-4 p.m.
HELP IS NEEDED!
• Find a list of Toy Bank donation box locations at www.prtoybank.com; click on the “donations” link. Place new, unwrapped toys and art supplies in the boxes for children from infancy to age 12. Send tax-deductible cash donations to: Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, P.O. Box 2801, Paso Robles, CA 93447.
• Monetary donations to the Salvation Army help purchase gift cards for each family’s teenagers (ages 13 to 16) and food gift certificates to allow the families to enjoy a special holiday meal. Donate directly to the Salvation Army, memo “Day of Giving,” P.O. Box 2654, Paso Robles, CA 93447.
• Volunteer to set up and prepare the rooms for Day of Giving, or register recipient families, by clicking on the “volunteer” button at www.prtoybank.com.
• Coats, sweaters and sweatshirts are collected to distribute on the Day of Giving. Take gently-used coats to Plaza Cleaners in the Albertson’s Shopping Center or Paso Robles Cleaners on 13th Street. Take new and clean coats to KPRL, Idler’s, Farm Supply, Strawberry Blonde Salon, El Paso Self Storage, The Blenders, and North County Copy & Parcel. Or send a check payable to the Toy Bank, memo “Coats for Kids”, to the Toy Bank address above. For info, call Barbie Butz at (805) 461-1234.
BE A SALVATION ARMY BELL-RINGER
The holiday kettle campaign, the Salvation Army’s only fundraiser, helps generate funds to carry the organization through the entire fiscal year. With additional costs for the Day of Giving, and continued assistance with utility bills, food distribution, and other services to local families, donations are needed.
“Members of the Paso Robles community really step up to help each year,” said Beth Quaintance, the Salvation Army’s SLO service extension representative. “We count on their generosity to put money in our kettles campaign. The need for funds is more urgent now; we have more clients and the various needs are tremendous.”
The Salvation Army also creates toy-giving opportunities for families NOT participating in the Day of Giving with its Angel Tree, Toy Shop, and Emergency Toy Giveaway. Want to help with donations of toys, become an “angel,” or need assistance? Call (805) 238-9591 or stop by the Salvation Army Center at 711 Paso Robles St. Tuesday or Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
HELP IS NEEDED!
• “We have a desperate need for bell-ringers,” said Quaintance. “Sometimes groups will sign up to volunteer for the entire day, with individuals covering different shifts, and we will put a ‘thank you’ sign on the kettle recognizing the group.” Individuals and groups are needed to help ring bells and collect funds at kettles in four separate Paso Robles locations daily Nov. 20 to Dec. 23, except Sundays. Volunteer for two-hour shifts; call (805) 975-5632 to schedule a time slot.
• Place donations in the paper kettles at check-out lines in Food-4-Less. Or, send a monetary donation to P.O. Box 2654, Paso Robles, CA 93447.
MORE WAYS TO GIVE
MUSIC FOR THE SOUL
The annual Music for the Soul event brings jazz vocalist Nicole Stromsoe to Studios on the Park, 1130 Pine St., on Sunday, Nov. 12 for a fine-dining and concert experience benefiting the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County. Concert with multi-course dinner and wine at one of three downtown sponsor restaurants – Il Cortile, Catch Seafood Bar & Grill, or Paso Terra – $125 per person; concert only, $50 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact St. James Church at (805) 238-0819 or Pacifica Realty at (805) 237-4040.
CAN YOUR FINES
From Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, $1 in fines is forgiven for every canned or other nonperishable food item donated, with max of $16 per library card account. Bring canned soup, fruits, and vegetables, and packages of rice or pasta and more to the library and ask to “Can Your Fines”. Details available at the downtown library main desk or (805) 237-3870.
DONATE TO LOAVES AND FISHES
Send monetary donations to Loaves and Fishes, P.O. Box 1720, Paso Robles CA 93447 or click on the PayPal link at loavesandfishespaso.org. Bring commercially produced and sealed food donations or fresh produce from your garden to the back-alley entrance of 2650 Spring St. (entrance through 26th St.) on the following days/times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9-11 a.m. or 2-4 p.m. On Thursday, stop by 5:30-7 p.m.; phone (805) 238-4742.
From all of us at PASO Magazine, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!