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Mountain steps up for community Christmas baskets posted on 12/01/2017

The push is on to make sure this holiday season is a happy one for all mountain families, as a slew of local groups gather non-perishable food and new, unwrapped toys for the community Christmas basket program. Carol Norgard, who is coordinating the Mt. Hood Lions Club’s Christmas Toy and Food Drive Dinner, noted that the baskets help approximately 100 families, totaling approximately 400 people, each year.

“Everything we get goes back to the community,” Norgard said, noting that other groups involved with the program include the Welches Schools and the Hoodland Fire District (HFD). “We have a really good community group up here, in general.”

Norgard noted that the program also started including food for dogs and cats about three years ago, and that there are no questions asked to those who apply for a box.

“It definitely makes me feel good that we’re helping a group of people that need help over a season where at least they know they have food for Christmas time and when school is out,” she said, adding that the gifts that are included make a big difference for many people who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise. “That’s a killer for them, when it comes to their children.”

The Lion’s Club dinner will offer beef, ham and all the trimmings, with tickets priced at $15 at the door and $12 pre-sale at the Barlow Trail Roadhouse, Welches Building Supply and the Welches branch of Clackamas County Bank. The event starts with a social hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Lions Club, 24730 E. Woodsey Way.

Norgard added that donations will still be accepted after the dinner and for anyone interested in doing so to call the HFD main station at 503-622-3256 and ask for Carol or Kelli.

Welches Schools Principal Kendra Payne noted that the school both benefits from and contributes to the program, with applications for baskets going out to all families.

The school’s ambassadors hold a food drive that features a friendly competition between each classroom and grade level for who can bring in the most food. The school’s food drive starts the week after Thanksgiving break and goes until the winter break, with all donations picked up by the HFD and go directly to the food baskets.

Sign up sheets for Hoodland Community Christmas Basket program are available at the Welches School, Clackamas County Bank’s Hoodland branch, Welches Mountain Building Supply, the Welches Library and the Hoodland Fire District’s main station. Giving trees, offering area residents to get a present for a child, are also available at those locations, as well as McKenzie Dental.

Robert Kelly of McKenzie Dental noted that the business has been participating in the program for three years.

“Everyone at McKenzie Dental participates to do our part to help out in the community,” he wrote in an email to the Mountain Times. “We focus on children in our area and have the help of Alison Bradley, Carol Norgard, and Hoodland fire department.”

Pick up for the baskets will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Dec 22 or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, at the Mt. Hood Lions Club.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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