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North Lake Tahoe making Christmas special for all

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North Lake Tahoe making Christmas special for all

Photo courtesy: Kelsey Ramirez

Photo courtesy: Kelsey Ramirez

Photo courtesy: Kelsey Ramirez

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As the fall semester at Sierra Nevada College is coming to an end, college students are getting prepared to go back home and spend Christmas with their loved ones, but many North Lake Tahoe locals struggle during Christmas time.

Toys for Tots, Project Mana, and Operation Christmas Child are some of the organizations around SNC Tahoe that help families around the North Lake Tahoe/ Truckee area and many other parts of the world, with their Christmas shopping and a nice festive dinner.

Toys for Tots is an organization who hosts events called “toy raiser parties” around the lake like: The Event Center in Kings Beach, Crosby’s in Incline Village, and many more. During their events, people come out and have a little fun all while donating a new toy or money for families in need. Apart from their events, Toys for Tots also provides the community with boxes around Lake Tahoe and Truckee for people to drop off toys they would like to donate.

“Their motto is ‘Every Child Deserves a Christmas’,” Toys for Tots area coordinator Meera Beser said.

Beser has been a part of the Toys for Tots team for over 10 years. She started off as a volunteer who helped wrap presents. Now, she has a bigger role. While still wrapping presents, she also has the duties to bring more toys into the organization, and organizes and coordinates distributions. Beser handles up to 1800 children all around North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. Imagine 1800 kids in your community with no Christmas.

“I love working with Toys for Tots, partly because they have really adorable Marines,” Beser said. “They’re also very honorable and respectful, and their heart is in the right place.”

Anybody who would like to get help from Toys for Tots would have to apply at Tahoe Family Solutions in Incline Village or the Boys and Girls Club in Kings Beach before December 19. The distribution is on December 22nd at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. The non-profit organization is volunteer run, and are always willing to help anyone who needs the help.

Photo courtesy: Kelsey Ramirez
Baskets full of toys ready to be donated.

“I really love doing it,” Beser said. “It’s really hard work and a lot of paperwork, but ultimately it’s very satisfying, gratifying, and fun.”

It’s not just Toys for Tots making a difference in our community.

Project Mana helps with food year round, and with a special meal for families during Christmas. The Culture Club at Sierra Nevada College has helped a lot during their distribution days, and with advertising their program to those who don’t know about their help.

Operation Christmas Child, put together by The Village Church in Incline Village, has been raising up to 155 shoe boxes per year. These shoe boxes are filled with toys, love, and sometimes kind letters from volunteers who devote some of their time for a child that has been affected by war, poverty, and natural disasters.

These shoe boxes are collected each year around November, sent out to their distribution center in Reno NV, and into the hands of a child who has every right to have a wonderful Christmas despite their nationality or personal experiences. Operation Christmas Child and The Village Church have come together for many years to help children around the world who are in need.

“Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization,” The Village Church office manager Annie Payne said. “The mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.”

These compassionate gestures that may seem so little, like a new beanie for the cold or snow boots for the snow, make a big difference in someone else’s life. Someone who may not have the advantage to get new warm clothes for the winter or toys from Santa may get lucky this year and receive something special from a helping hand.

 

 

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North Lake Tahoe making Christmas special for all