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Toy, food drives wrapping up

by Merrie Leininger

Area Christmas food and toy drives are wrapping up, literally.

Project Santa Claus volunteers will be sitting down Friday and Saturday to assemble and wrap the presents at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Marilyn Malkmus of Project Santa Claus said she could use extra help either of those two days.

“Friday and Saturday, we will be wrapping about 1,000 presents and sorting clothes. We need people anytime between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to help wrap and sort and build Big Wheels,” Malkmus said.

She said families can still register with Douglas County Social Services to receive toys and clothes for their children until Friday.

“As of today, we have 705 kids from 293 families. That’s right about where we were last year. We expect about 750 kids from 300-plus families,” she said.

However, she said the community has been so giving, Project Santa does not need many more donated items.

“This year, the community has been so incredibly generous, we are so overwhelmed. It’s pretty amazing. We ask them to provide one toy and they come back with three. People are so inherently generous,” she said.

Until Friday, the 13 Project Santa Angel Trees will be up. There are also bins for drop-offs at Sunridge Model Homes, 971 Parkview Court, Indian Hills; R & T Cleaners, 1389 Lampe Dr., Gardnerville; Carson Valley Medical Center, 1107 Highway 395, Gardnerville; Winhaven Sales Office, 1655 Lucerne, Minden; and Raley’s on Highway 395.

Families with children under age 15 can sign up at Douglas County Social Services for the toy distribution that will be held Wednesday, Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds, at the same time as the Christmas food distribution.

n Food closet. Diane Malone, director of the Carson Valley Community Food Closet, said Friday is also the deadline to sign up for the food basket distribution. Participants must go to social services office to sign up.

She said the food given out this year will be a turkey, dressing, vegetables, fruit, cranberry sauce, potatoes, onions, whipped topping and a pie.

“I am now trying to find good prices on turkeys. We have 240 now, but I’m going need about 150 more,” she said.

Malone said 404 families have registered so far, which is more than last year.

She said the Food Closet doesn’t need donations for the Christmas baskets, but always welcomes donations of non-perishables around the year.

“We even take perishables if they bring them directly to us on one of the days we’re open. Sometimes people leave things outside and I wouldn’t suggest people do that,” Malone said.

The Food Closet is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call the social services department of Douglas County Human Services, 1685 Highway 395 at 782-9825.