Local charities gobble up volunteers
If you go
What: Salvation Army-Janesville Thanksgiving Day community meal
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22.
Where: Salvation Army Community Center, 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville.
If you go
What: ECHO distribution of Thanksgiving Day baskets
When: 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 17.
Where: Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville
JANESVILLE Most people are fortunate to gather family, friends and food on Thanksgiving Day, but a growing number of people are unable to provide their loved ones with a holiday feast.
Two local nonprofit organizations—ECHO and the Salvation Army—and community volunteers are working to provide those in need with food on this holiday.
Here are ways you to help:
1. Volunteer. Volunteers are needed Nov. 17 at:
-- 7 a.m. to load groceries at Sentry Food Store, 2501 W. Court St., and to set up for distribution at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave.
-- 8 a.m. to help pack groceries.
-- 9:30 a.m. to help distribute groceries.
Call Volunteer Coordinator Fran Brien at 608-754-5333 with questions or to volunteer.
2. Decorate grocery bags. Pick up brown paper bags at the ECHO office, 65 S. High St., decorate them and return them to ECHO by Friday, Nov. 16. The decorated bags will be used for packing groceries.
3. Bake. Make cookies or bars, package them by the dozen in a zippered storage bag and drop them off between 9 a.m. and noon Friday, Nov. 16, at the ECHO office, or between 7 and 10 a.m., Saturday at the fairgrounds.
4. Donate. ECHO expects to help at least 1,100 low-income families. That's an increase of 379 families over the 721 families ECHO served last year, said Jessica Schafer-Locher, client advocate/office manager.
Thanksgiving baskets that contain a 10- or 12-pound turkey, gravy packet, mashed potatoes, whipped topping, pumpkin pie, apple juice, margarine, bread and baked cookies or bars in 2011cost ECHO $32,194 from its food budget of $86,946, she said.
Donations can be made online at echojanesville.org or by mailing a check made out to ECHO Thanksgiving to 65 S. High St., Janesville, WI 53548.
"We do a lot of praying and hope donations come in because we want everybody to be able to celebrate the holiday," Schafer-Locher said.
1. Donate. Turkeys of any size and trimmings—corn, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, green beans and deserts—are needed.
Turkeys and other food items that need to be prepared should be dropped off at the Salvation Army by Monday, Nov. 19, "so we know what we have to purchase," Maj. Ruth Fay said.
Desserts, including pies, cakes, bars and cookies, can be dropped off the morning of the meal, she said.
Those unable to donate food may donate money. Make checks payable to the Salvation Army-Janesville and make sure they are earmarked for "Thanksgiving Day meal," Fay said.
2. Volunteer. Between 80 and 100 volunteers are needed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to cook, set up, serve food, answer phones, deliver meals to shut-ins or clean up, Fay said.
Last year, about 275 people attended the community meal in addition to 25 meals that were delivered, she said.
"We're looking for 300 this year, will allow people to eat more than one plate of food and will send home leftovers," Fay said. "So we'll cook for 400."