Lend a Hand: Brighter Christmas sign-ups Friday, Saturday
by TP staff
Nov 15, 2012 | 2326 views | 16 16 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brighter Christmas sign-ups

Families who wish to receive food and gifts from Brighter Christmas, the local holiday charity, can apply from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at Tracy Community Center, 950 East St.

Applicants must take photo identification, verification of children’s birth and ages, proof of income, proof of rent or mortgage and a current bill from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Volunteers can report to the community center for instructions at 8:30 a.m.

The following week, Brighter Christmas will continue its holiday efforts with the opening of the Angel Tree at the West Valley Mall.

Tags representing local boys and girls will adorn the tree from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, inviting passers-by to pick one and purchase a gift for the child. Gifts should not be wrapped.

Volunteers can sign up to man the tree during mall hours and help with the charity’s barrel distribution, applicant screening, food and toy sorting and other activities.

For information: Steve Abercrombie, officerabs@yahoo.com; or Tracy Brighter Christmas, 833-3309 or www.tracybrighterchristmas.com.

Mountain House couple organizes holiday food drive

Two Mountain House residents hope to recruit a few more food and clothing donations this weekend to help needy families for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to organizers Katherine Havener and Mauricio Ramos of Mountain House, the Tri-Valley Basket Brigade is a way for local families to give back to their communities during the holiday season.

Baskets of food and other goods will be assembled at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

While assembly will take place in Livermore, some of the beneficiaries are in Tracy and Mountain House, including teenage parents involved in Tracy Unified School District’s S.T.E.P.S. program.

Participants in the brigade sign up to take various food, clothing and personal items to a collection site — Valley Montessori School, 1273 N. Livermore Ave., in Livermore — where they will be sorted into baskets for local needy families.

Volunteers can be any age, including children, to help with basket assembly.

Each teenage and adult participant is asked to donate $20 worth of food. Participants can also deliver a basket personally to a family in need.

For information: info@trivalleybasketbrigade.com.

Have a sandwich, help the cause

Tri-tip sandwiches will be served Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, at the American Legion Hall, 1960 Tracy Blvd., to raise funds for Tracy Interfaith Ministries’ Thanksgiving food programs.

Rick McDonald said he was working with Ron Garcia to put on the sandwich sales, which will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Contributors to the fundraiser include J-Z Auto Sales, Rusty’s Bar & Grill, Caldron’s Jewelers and Ace Hardware.

Real estate office accepts food, coat donations

Donations of canned or dry food and coats for children of all ages, either new or slightly used, can be dropped off until Dec. 15 at Century 21 M&M and Associates, 912 W. 11th St.

All clothing and food that is received by the office will be given to a local nonprofit to share with people in need during this holiday season.

For information: Nancy Payne, sales manager, 814-3122 or npayne@c21mm.com.

Locals wanted to help ‘Feed the Need’

Organizers of the annual community Thanksgiving dinner at The Great Plate Bar & Grill, 714 Central Ave., are still looking for donations of food and volunteers to help serve meals.

The free meal runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22.

For information: Alexis Brown, 833-0862 or alexis@thegreatplate.com.

Credit union collects canned food

The Golden 1 Credit Union is continuing its canned food drive through the end of November.

A collection bin can be found at the Tracy branch, 3202 W. Grant Line Road.

Donors are invited to give nonperishable food items and other necessities, such as diapers and baby formula, for families.

All donations will be given to Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. Past drives have provided more than 4,000 pounds of food for community organizations.

Other Central Valley branches are also participating in the drive and can be located using the credit union’s website.

For information: http://golden1.com.

Hirsch Elementary collects warm clothing

Residents can contribute to a blanket, coat and shoe drive sponsored by Hirsch Elementary School through Jan. 4.

Warm new coats and shoes or clean, gently used coats and shoes for people of all ages and sizes can be dropped off at the school office, 1280 Dove Drive, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. New or like-new blankets are also welcomed.

Most of the donated items will be given to Tracy Interfaith Ministries for distribution. Some child-size coats will form a Coat Closet the school is developing.

For information: Donna Boyd, 830-3312 or dboyd@tusd.net.

Salvation Army needs bell ringers

The Salvation Army in Tracy seeks volunteers for its holiday kettle fundraiser program.

Bell-ringers will work two-hour shifts outside local stores from Friday, Nov. 23, to Dec. 24.

This fundraiser provides emergency help year-round, including food, help with utility costs, disaster assistance and back-to-school preparation for Tracy residents and families.

The Salvation Army and Tracy Interfaith Ministries together provide food baskets for local people at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Salvation Army, 241 E. 10th St., Ste. A, Tracy, CA 95376.

For information: Myra Casey, 836-2346.

Children’s coat drive wraps up

Residents have one last day to contribute to a coat drive for local children that began Nov. 1, sponsored by Tracy African American Association.

Warm coats for children and teenagers of all ages and sizes, either new or in good condition, can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at T&J Educational Supplies for Early Learners, 320 W. 11th St.

Tracy African American Association members will deliver coats Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, to families living in predetermined low-income areas of the city.

For information: www.taaa.net.

Nonprofit collects stuffed animals for holiday gifts

Tracy resident Pat Jones hopes to inspire local residents to donate small stuffed animals for care packages for members of the U.S. military.

As gifting chairwoman for a nonprofit called Good News Bears, Jones reported in late October that she needed to collect 2,500 Beanie Baby-style toys by mid-November.

Good News Bears gives stuffed toys to groups throughout the region, including Military Moms of Tracy, McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter and VBR Foster Family Agency.

Those who wish to contribute can email or call Jones about how to drop off donations.

For information: Pat Jones, 914-2116 or pajones61@comcast.net.

Wreath fundraiser supports tutoring

Give Every Child a Chance, a tutoring and mentoring program that helps students at some Tracy elementary schools, is raising money through wreath sales this holiday season.

Proceeds from purchases of wreaths until Monday, Nov. 19, will support one-on-one tutoring for Tracy children.

Wreaths are shipped by UPS, and prices and styles vary.

For information: Karen Abler,

832-4481; or www.gecactracy.org.

• Lend a Hand runs in Our Town whenever someone is looking for volunteers or has a need for donations in Tracy. Send your plea to tpourtown@tracypress.com.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 16, 2012
"At one point in Bush years Blacks owned homes?"

Nice try but here's what I actually wrote:

"Democrats never talk about the fact at one point in the Bush years the percentage of black americans who owned homes was at it's highest level."

Big difference, do you realize when you use quotation marks you're supposed to actually use exactly what the person being quoted said or wrote?

How exactly is pointing out this fact racist? Because it doesn't meet your hate filled view of the world?

I guess it's time to see if TP wants to take another chance on getting sued for allowing libelous remarks on it's website. This is going to end real soon.
November 16, 2012
Look America, from slavery to allowing them homes, yay!
November 16, 2012
"At one point in Bush years Blacks owned homes?" For you to even bring that up is racist. It's like saying we allowed the inferiors some leeway.
November 16, 2012
Democrats never talk about the fact at one point in the Bush years the percentage of black americans who owned homes was at it's highest level. You also don't hear about how the unemployment rate for women is higher under Obama than Bush. Ah, those pesky facts.

Oh, almost forgot. In 2002 81 dems in the House of Representatives voted for the authorization to use force in Iraq and 29 of 50 dem senators also voted yes.

In case it's been missed, this is called getting spanked.
November 16, 2012


Fell fer her bait again an sucked ya right off th topic of th article.

Thought th article was social assistance, be it faith based, non-profit charitable based or even government based with a comment on verification an how ta make it better so th people needin th help got th help an th grifters who work th pity party system are left without.

Certainly no one, at least if thair normal, would deny help ta someone who needed it an most sensible people would tell those who don't need th help ta shove off.

She got ya off on foreign policy an no doubt attributed ta military spendin durin th Bush administration, spendin that by th way was approved by Congress, an ya responded with th thangs Bush did fer minorities, which really does factor in blacks bein that, ethnically, they make up about 12% of th population with Asians comin in at 5%. So yer comment about blacks an home ownership is correct.

Not apparently likin that yer statement was actually correct an very valid she then switched gears an called ya a racist when yer statement was not racist but simply statin a fact.

I have long found that th person who levels th accusation of racism is in fact th racist itself.
November 16, 2012
Then, not gettin a response frum ya, 36 minutes later she launches inta a supposition in her own mind about what ya were thankin. Seems she had ta fester fer 36 minutes before that scurrilous remark was made by her in yer behalf.

Wonder if TP is gonna do somethang about that cus it just ain't right an a technique commonly known in some circles as race baitin.
November 16, 2012
My understanding is... a racist... can't be a racist... when the racist plays the racist card. Is that correct debbdave?
November 16, 2012
Lookin inta th comment ya made I don't see anywhare whare ya mentioned a political party until she baited ya in again with "Don't hear the repubs raise hell on that one." Just another fallacious statement cus when Bush was in office I distinctly remember a lot of Republicans complain about th cost of th war. They just apparently got over it, as thar ain't anythang that anyone can do about it anyway cus it's history past, an started complainin about thangs they could have an impact on. But ta say they didn't complain back when Bush was in office ain't exactly truthful.

Admittedly th party in Congress didn't offer many of those complaints but cartainly thair were those in th citizenry who were Republicans that complained an complained loudly just as thair were Democrats, both in Congress an th citizenry, who were apparently cool with th spendin an didn't complain at all about it.

This is precisely why when we speak of such thangs we do it relatively, with th usages of th words most, average, percentage, instead of concretely sayin somethang is a 100% fact when obviously it ain't.

It's also why we should let other people do thair own thankin instead of us doin thair thankin fer em. Never realized, until recently, how many mind readers thair are out thair.

Why I can say one thang an it seems like magic all of a sudden someone else out thair is tellin th world what I thank about somethang else that I ain't even discussed. How do they do that? Is it somethang that can be taught?

I can see whair it would come in mighty handy ta know what someone else is thankin an in most cases even before they thank it.

Wow, that reaches up ta th level of divine prophet. :)

November 16, 2012

or is that dose? Got a chuckle out of "a dose of dcose," though.

So if I understand ya correctly th first ta play th race card can never be th racist?

Good ta know an I shall keep it in mind. Call em a racist up front an granted racial immunity fer bein a racist yerself. Wow! Does it really work that way? Guess it does because I frequently see it played that way.

Question; can ya be racist against yer own race or just racist fer others not yer own?

Th reason I ask is that I am startin ta thank that I am in fact a racist because thair are a lot of people in th human race, some members of my own race, that I just don't have any respect fer.

So does that make me a racist?
November 16, 2012
Only debbdave knows for sure.

The final arbitrator of all things racist.
November 16, 2012

No other arbitrator? That's kinda scary.
November 16, 2012
We are lucky to have such people in our midst.

Are you willing to fill the deranged position? If not you... who? Someone has to take on the responsibility and I thank her for stepping up.
November 16, 2012

Nah, I don't want th job, unless it really pays good. I am not qualified fer it anyway. But if thairs a lot of pay fer th job I could fake it real well now that ya told me th whole secret about racism.

If ya play th race card first everyone else is th racist.

November 16, 2012
What about the billions Bush spent on wars? Don't hear the repubs raise hell on that one.
November 16, 2012
mrmnfallacy, Welcome to Obama's vision for the future of our country. I have some bad news for you, this local free loading is nothing compared to what goes on throughout CA and the rest of the country. I can hardly wait until we hit $20 trillion in debt and 60% of the population on some sort of government hand out.

By the way, I agree with you in regards to verifying people actually need help before receiving the free goodies. Way too many people seem to have forgotten, it's the American way to help those who cannot help themselves, are in positions not of their own doing, or at least are trying thier best to get by. However, it's not the American way to be a mooch or expect the rest of us to provide for the moochers.
November 16, 2012
...could we consider improving the validation process for folks who wish to receive food and gifts from Brighter Christmas and similar programs? Its seems as if there is an increasing number of folks applying for and benefiting from these programs who aren't so poor after all when they're seen driving full size SUVs, using iphones, wearing $150 Nike shoes, and having multiple big screen TVs in their homes for Sunday Raider games. Its interesting that, as most of us are interested in protecting our freedom, dignity, and livelihood through hard work and education, an increasing number of people are interested in protecting their access to free stuff from others while not making any effort to help provide for themselves and their kids. Lets preserve and maintain these great programs for folks who really need the help

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