Project Santa shows the Valley cares |

Project Santa shows the Valley cares

Joyce Hollister

Carson Valley cares.

That’s the assessment of Marilyn Malkmus, director of the Project Santa program for the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.

“I think people should know how wonderful people are being,” Malkmus said.

Response to the Angel Tree program, bike collection, winter clothing and toy drives has been overwhelming.

“I’m pleased to say we have sponsors for every one of the kids or angels on the trees,” Malkmus said. “We’re very thrilled. We have a lot of businesses whom, instead of doing a Christmas gift exchange, are taking a family. We have more Angel Trees. We have churches taking huge hunks of kids. We are extremely grateful to this community.”

As of Monday, 610 kids were signed up to receive toys or clothing for Christmas. Last year, there were 840 kids out of some 240 families.

“This year we have 250 families signed up for food and toys for their kids.”

The winter clothing drive has brought in so many coats, jackets and other types of warm apparel that “we almost have enough to give everyone in the Valley a coat!” she said, laughing.

St. Gall Catholic Church started the drive off last summer after the annual church rummage sale. Then Carson Valley Middle School students stepped in and collected 400 jackets, sweatshirts and coats.

Raley’s is doing a coat drive and four bins set up by Project Santa are located at businesses in the community, Malkmus added. “The clothes have been just terrific.”

Gardnerville Volunteer Fire Department Station #2 is holding a winter clothing drive, accepting jackets, hats, scarves and mittens in good condition. Volunteers will pick up items Dec. 6 and 7 and 13 and 14, or people may place them in a clean dumpster at the station. Call 782-2003 for pick-up.

The bikes and trikes donated to the Kiwanis Wheel Collection have been in better condition than before. Willie Kersey is in charge of the program. Malkmus expects to have 100 bikes to give away. Marsha Tomerlin again donated 100Big Wheels.

“That’s an incredible donation,” she said.

Funds raised form the Superior Lube Lube-a-Thon – $850 – will be used to buy bike helmets. The Alpine Restaurant in Markleeville sponsored a motorcycle toy run and will share some of their toys with Douglas County.

Volunteers are needed to help wrap presents and put together the Big Wheels at the Douglas County fairgrounds Dec. 16, 17 and 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Distribution will be Dec. 22.

No child will go without Christmas food, warm clothing or toys this Christmas, Malkmus said.

“I am just one happy camper.”