HELPING HANDS CHEERING

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Christmas food-toy drive inching closer to $30,000 goal

 

Having already surpassed the season’s initial goal of collection $22,500, the 2014 Helping Hands holiday drive took in $510 for Christmas week, pushing the year’s total to an unofficial $28,607, according to coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin.

“I still believe that we will get that other $1,393  by Dec. 31, 2014,” a hopeful Benjamin said this week.

Christmas food-toy drive inching closer to $30,000 goal

 

Having already surpassed the season’s initial goal of collection $22,500, the 2014 Helping Hands holiday drive took in $510 for Christmas week, pushing the year’s total to an unofficial $28,607, according to coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin.

“I still believe that we will get that other $1,393  by Dec. 31, 2014,” a hopeful Benjamin said this week.

Top donator for the week was Iwane Wayne Chuman with a gift of $250. A correction to last week’s mention of Sam’s Auto Land’s donation, as it was $250.

The Pocahontas Lodge 211 gave $150 and the Gardena police and its Gardena Police Officers Association donated another $100, adding to last week’s gift for a new total of $3,820.

Gerri Noel of the Rent Mediation Board added $10 to the food drive.

Benjamin said that the Harbor Distributing LLC donated 176 toys this week, and also gave food. This company also adopted a family for the holidays.

The food donors this week, besides Harbor Distributing, were from New Direction Community Church, Tony Medina, Dennis and Julie Schwieterman, Hitco Carbon Composites, First Christian Church, Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, Lucky Inouye, Gardena Elks, Purche Elementary School, and Councilwoman Rachel Johnson.

            Week ending Dec. 29

Iwane Wayne Chuman            $250

Pocahontas Lodge 211            $150

GPD and GPOA            $100

Gerri Noel (Rent Mediation Board)            $10

            (unofficial total for the season)            $28,607

1.  Harbor Distributing LLC donated 176 toys

         Food

 

1. Harbor Distributing LLC

2. New Direction Community Church

3. Tony Medina

4. Dennis and Julie  Schwieterman

5. Hitco Carbon Composites

6. First Christian Church

7. Gardena-Carson Family YMCA

9. Lucky Inouye

10.Gardena Elks

11. Purche Elementary School

12. Councilwoman Rachel Johnson

 

Week of Dec. 25

While the GPD couldn’t quite top the Elks, the police did give $3,720 — the second highest monetary donation other than the Elks Lodge. Chief Ed Medrano made the check presentation Monday morning in front of the GPD.

This season’s goal is to reach $30,000 by Dec. 31, said an elated Evette Wedlow-Benjamin, the Helping Hands coordinator. “I’m hoping more groups follow the police department’s lead and take the challenge,” she said.

Besides the GPD/GPOA gift, this week saw the Gardena Emblem Club give $780. President Virginia Almaraz presented her club’s check on Monday, only minutes after the police gift.

Sam’s Auto Land contributed $250.

There were three $200 gifts, each from Walter Loughridge TTE, and the Gardena Valley Democratic Club.

Nellie Mationg donated $100 and was followed by a $60 gift from James and Gwen Duffy, and $20 from Tom Faidley.

This week’s take was $5,280.

Toy donors for the week were New Direction Community Church, NGRC Softball, Hitco Carbon Composites Inc., GEO/Troop 683, North Torrance High School Girls Softball Team, and Brookwood Roll Goods.

Food donations came from First Christian Church of Gardena, Tony Medina, Gardena Women of the Moose Chapter No. 430, Hitco Carbon Composites, Toyota Motor Sales/Parts Support, Casimir Block Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, Avalon Gardens, and Dennis and July Schwieterman.

 

Week of Dec. 15

Last week’s slow week gave no indication of the rebound the 2014 Helping Hands food drive would make. The week ending Dec. 15 saw the holiday program of food and toys set a single week’s record in donations with $7,017.

That intake sends this year’s unofficial total in monetary donations to $23,447 (unofficially). That amount tops the 2014 goal of $22,500.

Hands coordinator Evette Wedlow-Benjamin is hoping to hit a new seasonal record of $25,000. With at least two more weeks left in the holiday program, her new goal is within reach.

Benjamin said the outpouring of money, toys and food is no pipedream when you consider how the Gardena community and its neighbors have pooled together to help those in need. This year, less-fortunate families will find their stockings full, their trees glowing with gifts, and their tables filled with a bounty of food.

Week of Dec. 8

After a brisk week one in December, the Helping Hands holiday drive hit the skids this week taking in less than $1,000.

Councilman Terrence Terauchi reached deep into his pocket and gave a generous $500 check to lead all contributors this week.

There were two $100 checks, from Henry H. Shimabuka, and one anonymous.

Giving checks of $50 were Judy T. Nakamoto and K. and O. Ota. Rounding out this week’s donors, Hisashi Nakada gave $25 to the holiday food program for the needy.

With a total of $825 this week, the unofficial total for the Helping Hands holiday drive as of Dec. 8 is $16,430.

This week also saw the following groups give toys for needy children: Nader’s LA POPULAR Furniture Store, Gardena Nissan, and Mr. and Mrs. Denny Ward.

Food donations for the week were made by eight groups: Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919, the Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, the Lions Club, Gardena Community of Christ Church, Doris Clark, the Gardena Baptist, Adult South Bay F.O.R., and the Knights of Columbus Council No. 40.

For a Great Cause

More than 2,360 individuals living in Gardena, many of them children and seniors will not be able to enjoy the holidays without the food, gifts and toys that many of us take for granted,” Evette Wedlow-Benjamin, Helping Hands coordinator, said.

 

Helping Hands, which is a combined effort of the Elks Lodge 1919, Lions and many other service groups and churches in the City of Gardena, is now entering its 33rd year of community service, will make the holidays a bit more comfortable for those who are low income or unemployed.

 

You can assist with Helping Hands with food, new unwrapped toys or monetary donations by dropping them off or mailing them to:

 

Drop off or send donations to:

City of Gardena

Human Services Division

c/o Helping Hands

1651 W. 162nd Street, Gardena 9024

 

For more information, contact the Human Services Division at 310-217-9574.

 

Every donation helps

Now in its 33rd 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 1981 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.

Every year, Helping Hands receives 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.

 

GPD and GPOA            $3,720

Gardena Emblem Club No. 257            $780

Sam’s Auto Land            $250

Gardena Valley Democratic Club            $200

Walter Loughridge TTE            $200

Nellie Mationg            $100

James and Gwen Duffy            $60

Tom Faidley                        $20

 

Toy Donations:  New Direction Community Church, NGRC Softball, Hitco Carbon Composites Inc., GEO/Troop 683, North Torrance High School Girls Softball Team, and Brookwood Roll Goods.

Food Donations:  First Christian Church of Gardena, Tony Medina, Gardena Women of the Moose Chapter No. 430, Hitco Carbon Composites, Toyota Motor Sales/Parts Support, Casimir Block Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, Avalon Gardens, and Dennis and July Schwieterman.

 

            Week ending Dec. 15

Gasket Manufacturing            $1,500

AT&T                        $1,025

Gardena Recreation and Youth Sports Advisory Board            $1,000

Gardena Bowl Sunday Sansei Bowling League            $600

GMEO            $500 (second donation of $500)

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3261            $300

Boy Scouts of America, Troop No. 683                        $228

Gardena Korean Baptist Church            $220

Anonymous            $200

Nader’s Inc., Nader’s LA POPULAR            $200

Y Service Club of Gardena            $200

Anonymous            $114

Anonymous            $100

Gardena Valley Affiliated Commission on Aging            $100

Christopher and Charlotte Lynch            $100

Efren and Dolores Sales            $100

Doreen Watanabe            $100

Gerald and Ethel Barnes            $75

Louise Y. Sakamoto            $50

Sofia Pappatheodorou            $50

Joan Crishal            $25

            (unofficial total for the season)            $23,447

            TOY DONATIONS — Day Spring Christian Church, Nader’s Inc., Gardena Buddhist Church, El Camino Lions, Nissan, Hustler Casino, Boy Scout Troop 683, and the Gardena Recreation and Youth Sports Advisory Board.

            FOOD — Dean Mathiowetz, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Trent D. Dumas, Second Time Around Club, June Eicker, Gardena Nisei VFW Post 1961 Women’s Club, Gardena Community of Christ, South Bay V.A. Church, The Living Word Agape Faith Center, and the Gardena Buddhist Church, F.O.R., Gardena Bowl Sunday Sansei Bowling League, United Methodist Church, Gasket Manufacturing Inc., and Bowman and Brooke LLP.

 

            Week ending Dec. 8

Councilman Terrence Terauchi            $500

Anna Steuwer            $100

Anonymous            $100

Henry H. Shimabuka            $100

Judy T. Nakamoto            $50

K. and O. Ota            $50

Hisashi Nakada            $25

            (unofficial total for the season)            $16,430

            Toy Donations: Nader’s LA POPULAR Furniture Store, Gardena Nissan, and Mr. and Mrs. Denny Ward.

            Food donations: the Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919, the Gardena-Carson Family YMCA, Lions Club, Gardena Community of Christ Church, Doris Clark, Gardena Baptist Church, Adult South Bay F.O.R., and Knights of Columbus Council No. 40.

 

            Week ending Dec. 1

The South Bay F.O.R. Jr. Sports Association            $1,090

James and Linda Hone            $500

First Southern Baptist Church            $300

Gardena Valley Lions Club            $200

Lutheran Oriental Church, Inc.            $200

Richard and Virginia Castilla            $100

Donald Dear            $100

Tommy and Miyoko Murakoshi            $100

Second Time Around Seniors            $100

Glenn T. Shono            $100

D. Watanabe            $100

Frank and Lidia Onderka            $50

Charleta P. Williams            $50

Gail Kawato donated $30.

            (unofficial total for the season)            $15,505

            Food donations

Kathy Kamio, Cub Scout Pack No. 203, B. Nakmacjo and the Day Spring Christian Center were big contributors of food. Pastor Oh, Sangkyu and Jesus Love Church of Southern California gave five large fruit baskets, and Pastor Ronderick D. Henry’s New Direction Community Church delivered 10 turkey baskets with all the trimmings.

The Human Services Department also acknowledged food donations from Boy Scout Troop 683, Tire Co. Inc., Distributing, LLC, Courtney’s School of Dance, and GameTime Elite Basketball Team.

            Thanksgiving food

Kiwanis of Gardena Valley, and Bowman and Brooke LLP.

            Toys

Nader’s LA Popular, and The Living Word General Assembly Church of the Firstborn of Jesus Christ.

 

            Week ending Nov. 24

Gardena Management Employees Organization $500

The Italian Catholic Federation St. Anthony Padua Branch No. 237            $500

Gary H. Motoyama            $200

Mrs. Iku Kiriyama            $50

St. Anthony Senior Group            $25

Ken Feuer – Rend Mediation Board member            $20

Rich Gomez            $10

            (unofficial total for the season) $12,485

           

            Week ending Nov. 17

South Bay Toyota            $1,250

El Camino Lions Club            $500

North Torrance Lions Club            $500

Gardena Valley Friends of the Library            $100

J.R. and Jessica            $100

Ladies Auxiliary to Gen. Rosecrans Post 3261            $100

The Haskell Family$50

Kim Nolan            $30

            (unofficial total for the season) $11,180

 

            Week ending Nov. 10           

June Eicker            $100

In Memory of Paul and Larry Greco            $100

Edith and Kenneth Shimokochi            $100

ER Thompson            $100

Allan and Patricia Lange            $50

            (unofficial total for the season)$8,550

 

            Week ending Nov. 3

John and Elaine Nichelson            $200

In Memory of Tom and Jan Gohata            $200

Anonymous            $200

Alton and LaVerne Knight            $100

Sons of Italy & Elaine and Eleanor Bersano            $100

Tom Parks            $100

            (unofficial total for the season) $8,100

 

            Week ending Oct. 27

Gardena Elks Lodge 1919            $4,000

Richard M. Kaya            $2,000

Terry and Betty Kennedy            $400

Loyce Holt            $300

Hoodlums Club, Inc.                        $200

Evelyn B. Nall            $200

Mas Fujita            $100

 

            Total            $7,200

 

Food Donations Nov. 27

Gardena Valley Baptist Church

156thStreet  School

The Living Word  General Assembly Church Of The First Born Of Jesus Christ

Shirley Tanaka

Carson Gardena Dominguez Rotary

Kathy Kamio

Cub Scouts Pack No. 203

B.Nakamacjo

First Christian Church

Brookwood Rool Goods

 

Food Donations Nov. 20

Food donations to the City’s food pantry were made the following groups:

Agape Faith Center/Living Word

Gasket Manufacturing Company

AThe Rowley Park Second Time Around Seniors Club

 Dennis and Julie Schwietrman

The First Presbyterian Church Preschool

MCHS Football Booster

 

Previous weeks

Boy Scout Troop 948 of Torrance

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