BPOE 1919 kicks off Helping Hands with early $4,000 donation

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The Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919 makes no bones about it: 2014 will be the ‘best’ Helping Hands year since its inception 35 years ago.

The fraternal organization opened the 2014 Gardena Helping Hands holiday food drive for the needy with an impressive $4,000 check. The gift comes weeks early this year from the typical late October-early November kickoff.

The Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919 makes no bones about it: 2014 will be the ‘best’ Helping Hands year since its inception 35 years ago.

The fraternal organization opened the 2014 Gardena Helping Hands holiday food drive for the needy with an impressive $4,000 check. The gift comes weeks early this year from the typical late October-early November kickoff.

Exalted Ruler Alyssa Santos of BPOE 1919 made the check presentation recently to the Helping Hands coordinator, Evette Wedlow-Benjamin, at the Human Services Department. In attendance at the Elks Lodge for the presentation were Elks members and Benjamin from the city of Gardena Human Services.

The Elks donation to the holiday Helping Hands drive was generated primarily by its very successful bingo program. The money will go toward grocery food vouchers.

With the first week under its belt, the Helping Hands holiday drive for the needy will have a lofty goal to pursue.

For a great cause

Now in its 35th year, Gardena’s holiday food drive will benefit more than 400 needy families in the community, and will serve more than 1,700 people with grocery vouchers and gifts for the kids.

Sponsored by the city of Gardena in cooperation with the Gardena Valley News, the holiday food drive began in 1980 as a food basket giveaway to Gardena’s less fortunate.

In recent years, food vouchers to area grocery stores have replaced food baskets, which provides families with a greater selection of food items, including dietary and ethnic items.

Last year, Helping Hands received palettes of canned foods from various groups for the holiday.

The city of Gardena provides all staffing in the Hands drive and all monetary contributions go toward the holiday fund-raiser and the year-round food pantry. No money is used for administrative costs.

As in the past, the Gardena Valley News will publish a list of contributors, with a weekly update of new donors.

For more information about Helping Hands, call 310-217-9594.

Checks should be made to “Helping Hands” and can be sent or dropped off at:

 

The Human Services

Department

1651 W. 162nd St.

Gardena, CA 90247

 

Week One donations, ending Monday, Oct. 6.

Gardena Elks Lodge 1919            $4,000

Total            $4,000