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Christmas basket program sends out call for volunteers posted on 11/01/2021

Carol Norgard, one of the volunteer organizers of the annual Hoodland Community Christmas Basket program, noted that last year’s efforts included close to 60 volunteers, an increase from past years when 30 volunteers participated. She attributed that partly to spreading out the volunteers throughout the day and limiting the number of people involved at any given time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“More people can come and assist before or after work,” Norgard said, adding that the efforts were spread over a few days, starting in the morning and going into the evenings, which offered times for community members with varying schedules.

And for the second year in a row, organizers will use signup.com, a website that helps facilitate volunteer efforts, allowing people to log in and sign up for a time slot and activity. Volunteers will have to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions this year, too.

The program offers a food basket and a gift for children ages 18 and under to those in need within the Welches Schools boundaries. Norgard said they helped between 80 to 95 families each year in the past three years, and they anticipate the same number this year, although they plan for more in case the need arises.

“Things were very similar (in 2020) to the way they’ve been all along,” she said.

Anybody on the Mountain is welcome to participate and Norgard added that many people show up who don’t have children or are not part of one of the community organizations, but just want to help.

Volunteer activities include moving the food items (covered vans and trucks are needed for this part), sorting the food, checking the expiration dates, assembling boxes, deliveries and more, and Norgard noted that it can involve a lot of lifting. Every food box is assembled for a family of four, but the group will add more items for larger families.

“We pay attention to that because we have the opportunity to,” Norgard said.

Volunteer times are available from 2:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. A cleanup day will be added to the www.signup.com site.

For more information, or to sign up for volunteering, visit https://signup.com/go/kXdgUML. The group will also accept donations, which can be offered through Venmo at www.venmo.com/u/Hoodland-ChristmasBaskets.

For anyone interested in receiving a basket, applications will be available starting the first week of November at various locations, including the Clackamas County Bank, Coffee House 26, Smoke on the Mountain, Welches Mountain Building Supply and the Welches Liquor Store.

Welches Schools will also send home applications, which can be dropped off at any location where they are available and also at the Hoodland Fire District main station, 69634 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

Giving trees will be available in late November, offering the chance to get gifts that are part of the basket program. Trees will be located at Clackamas County Bank, Coffee House 26, Smoke on the Mountain, Welches Mountain Building Supply, Welches Liquor Store and the Welches Schools.

The Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner has been cancelled this year.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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