Almost 1,000 local families were helped
By Susan Motander
Bette McWilliams, executive director of Foothill Unity Center, is thankful this season for all the volunteers who turned out to assist her and the other Unity Center staff prepare for and distribute food to almost 1,000 local families in need. Hundreds of people showed up on Saturday working three shifts to prepare the boxes of food. More showed up on Monday at Ayers Hall at the County Arboretum in Arcadia and Tuesday at the center in Monrovia and Pasadena to distribute that food.
But this is just the beginning; McWilliams still needs help for the holiday distribution next month. As you begin to think of the things for which you are thankful this year, remember Unity Center. They need help year round but especially at this time of year. Food is always needed but monetary donations can help fill in the needs of local families.
Every year volunteers from the community help the very few staff members at the Foothill Unity Center prepare for and help at the distributions for both Thanksgiving and the holidays. Individuals and groups from local schools, businesses, service organization, the local police and fire departments all donate items and volunteer their time to help these efforts.
At the Thanksgiving Distribution families received all “fixings” for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner including meat (for the larger families, a turkey, smaller, a chicken). At the holiday distribution they will receive huge holiday food boxes as well as new toys and clothing for the children. There is still time to volunteer to help for those events next month.
Volunteer help is needed for the holiday distribution, first with the preparation for the packing day, on packing day itself, and at the distribution. Volunteering requires registering in advance to pick a specific shift for which to volunteer. Go to the Unity Center website, foothillunitycenter.org and click on the Get Involved column. This will direct you to the proper page for Thanksgiving and holiday distribution.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, the pre-packing will take place at Ayers Hall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum on Baldwin in Arcadia. The preparation for packing day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on that day. On the packing day itself, Friday, Dec. 14, there are three shifts from which to choose: 9 a.m. – noon, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 1 – 4 p.m.
On the first day of the holiday distribution for the larger families (most with families) there are four shifts available. Only adult volunteers can volunteer for these shifts. Strong adults are needed for the set up shift from 7:30 – 8:30 am. More adults are needed for the other three shifts: 8 – 11 a.m., 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and 1 – 4 p.m. There are lots of spots still available for volunteers on that day.
There are two different places to volunteer for the small family distributions on Monday Dec. 17: the Monrovia location and that in Pasadena. In Monrovia there are only four more volunteers needed from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In Pasadena there are two different shifts: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several people are needed for both shifts.
Feel good about yourself. Help others.