Bringing Hope to Paso Robles this Holiday Season

As we turn the final page of the 2017 calendar and welcome the month of December, we take time to reflect on the holiday season. For some, holidays mean spending time with family and friends both near and far. Many of us look forward to traditional holiday celebrations – whatever those traditions may be – and will perhaps start a new tradition or two.

Why not make a new tradition this year by helping those in need? Get the entire family involved – young children love to help! There are countless ways to make this holiday season a bit brighter for others in our community! Below is a sampling of ideas:

Donate to RISE, join Giving Tree

The mission of RISE is one of hope – “to transform the lives of sexual and intimate partner violence survivors, their families and the community through services and education that promote safety, healing, and empowerment.”

You can help:

• Ask co-workers and friends to participate in the Giving Tree program, then pool funds and purchase gift cards from various merchants including grocery, shoe, and department stores and gas stations. “We are doing things a bit differently this year in regard to the Giving Tree,” said RISE Development and Marketing Manager Mariko Kriege. “Gift cards allow our families to purchase the items they need and takes the guess work out of holiday shopping for our Giving Tree volunteers.”

• Make a financial donation to help provide crisis intervention and treatment services. Make checks to RISE and mail to: P.O. Box 630, Paso Robles, CA 93447.

• Donate items to the Safe House such as: diapers, towels, first-aid supplies, laundry detergent, new pillows, twin sheet sets and comforters, pajamas, socks, underwear and more for women and children.  Call 226-5400, see riseslo.org, or stop by the RISE office at 1030 Vine St. in Paso Robles.

Paso’s Lights of Hope

Paso’s Lights of Hope benefits the Cancer Support Community – California Central Coast by raising funds and awareness for local cancer patients, survivors, and their families while shining the light on the organization’s mission: “so that no one faces cancer alone.”  More than 35,000 lights adorning 17 trees in the Paso Robles downtown park were turned on at the annual Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 24 and will continue to shine nightly through Valentine’s Weekend 2018.

Paso’s Lights of Hope is co-sponsored by the City of Paso Robles and the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association. To sponsor a bulb, a branch, or tree, click on the Lights of Hope link at cscslo.org or stop by the CSC office at 1051 Las Tablas Road in Templeton; call 238-4411 for more info.

Day of Giving

The 23rd Annual Day of Giving on Dec. 16 at the Paso Robles Event Center will provide toys, coats, and a holiday meal to local families with children from Paso Robles, San Miguel, Bradley, Shandon, and Heritage Ranch. The Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, Coats for Kids, the Salvation Army, and community members make this possible.

• Much has been donated, but more is needed. Place new toys, art supplies, games and sports balls in Toy Bank collection boxes around town; send monetary donations to: Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles, P.O. Box 2801, Paso Robles, CA 93447.

• Take gently-used coats, sweatshirts, and sweaters 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 Mini Storage, The Blenders, or North County Copy & Parcel.

• Send a check payable to the Toy Bank, with memo “Coats for Kids” to the Toy Bank address listed above.

• Help the Salvation Army with monetary donations to purchase gift and food cards by sending a check with memo “Day of Giving” to P.O. Box 2654, Paso Robles, CA 93447.

Help out the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s holiday kettle campaign generates funds to carry the organization through the entire fiscal year.

• Volunteer to ring the bells and collect funds through Dec. 23; call 975-5632 to schedule a time slot.

• Place monetary donations in the paper kettles at checkout lines in Food 4 Less. Send monetary donations to P.O. Box 2654, Paso Robles, 93447.

• For families NOT participating in the Day of Giving, the Salvation Army offers three additional toy-giving opportunities: Angel Tree, Toy Shop, and Emergency Toy Giveaway.

• Those wishing to help with donations of toys, interested in being an “angel,” or in need of assistance are encouraged to call 238-9591 or stop by the Salvation Army Center at 711 Paso Robles St. Tuesday or Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More ways to help

• Season of Hope: Bring non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped toys to any local fire station or various participating businesses through Dec. 15. Local television station KSBY partners with several organizations to distribute items collected during the drive; all donations remain on the Central Coast. Make a financial donation, or find a full list of items needed and drop off locations by clicking the Season of Hope tab at ksby.com.

• Donate to ECHO: El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) provides food, shelter and other critical services to individuals and families with children. Donate at echoshelter.net or send checks payable to ECHO, P.O. Box 2077, Atascadero, CA 93423; call 462-3663 for more info. Donate clothing and household items to Gatherings Thrift and North County Christian School Thrift Shop; both are located in Atascadero and many proceeds directly benefit ECHO.

• Hope for the Holidays: Add non-perishable food items to collection boxes situated at various locations throughout the county through Dec. 15. Volunteers are needed to hand out most-needed-items lists to customers entering participating grocery stores. Businesses may host a money box or match donations from employees and donate the funds. Click on the Hope for the Holidays tab at slofoodbank.org for more info.

• Can your library fines: Through Dec. 30, $1 in fines is forgiven for every canned or other nonperishable food item donated ($16 max per library card account). Bring cans of soup, chili, fruit and vegetables, packages of rice or pasta and more to the Paso Robles library main desk to “Can Your Fines.” Details available at the library or 237-3870.

• Donate to Loaves and Fishes: Send monetary donations to 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: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9 to 11 a.m. or 2 to 4 p.m. or on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; phone 238-4742.

From all of us at Paso Robles Magazine,

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays