Helping Hands program off to a rousing start

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Helping Hands program off to a rousing start

The Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919 has kicked off the 2014 food drive with a $4,000 donation. This year’s goal is $22,500.

Exalted Ruler Alyssa Santos of BPOE 1919 made the check presentation Oct. 1 to the Helping Hands coordinator, Evette Wedlow-Benjamin, at the Gardena Elks Lodge. In attendance for the presentation were Elks members.

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

Helping Hands program off to a rousing start

The Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919 has kicked off the 2014 food drive with a $4,000 donation. This year’s goal is $22,500.

Exalted Ruler Alyssa Santos of BPOE 1919 made the check presentation Oct. 1 to the Helping Hands coordinator, Evette Wedlow-Benjamin, at the Gardena Elks Lodge. In attendance for the presentation were Elks members.

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

Richard M. Kaya donated $2,000, possibly the largest gift received from an individual.

Terry and Betty Kennedy gave $400, followed by retired Recreation Division director, Loyce Holt, with $300.

Giving $200 each was Evelyn B. Nall, and the Hoodlums Club, Inc. Mas Fujita contributed $100 to bring the week’s total to $7,200.

A word from director Evette Wedlow-Benjamin:

“I would like to thank the Gardena Elks Lodge No. 1919 with a check for $4,000 to kick off the

 Helping Hands Fundraising Drive,” Benjamin said. “And to those that have also donated to help kick off the “Helping Hands” fundraise drive a Big Thank You. It is because of organization and individuals like you that Christmas will be a happier time for many families and children in the City of Gardena. We don’t want to forget those that have donated wrapping paper, including Councilwoman Rachel Johnson and George Nakakura, to wrap the gifts for Helping Hands because I believe every child should receive a wrapped gift.

“With help from everyone I am sure we can reach or even surpass this year’s goal. ”

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.

 

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.

 

For a great cause

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.

Week one donations, ending Monday, 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