Needy families get tasty boost from Christmas Basket program

Gift of Giving
By: Gus Thomson, Journal staff writer
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the Gift of giving Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of 12 stories on volunteers in our community. The stories will be published as a countdown to the holiday, in honor of the 12 days of Christmas. Kathy Miller is coordinator of this year’s Auburn Area Christmas Basket Program food collection, essentially overseeing grocery shopping for 550 families. As a Red Cross volunteer, the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital nurse has also helped out after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan. Q. What does the Christmas Basket program do? A: We’re a non-profit organization that supplies food and toys for 550 families. We try to give them a nice Christmas dinner and two weeks of groceries. People have to apply and the cutoff was last Friday but we still try to find food for everyone who needs it. Q: Why do you volunteer? A: Auburn is my community and I enjoy helping out. Q: What are the highlights or challenges to volunteering? A: It’s very gratifying on distribution day when you see your labors come to fruition. Q: What do you do when you’re not volunteering? A: I work for Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital and have lived in Auburn for 31 years. I like hiking, kayaking and cycling. I also like distance running. I’ve finished eight marathons and ran the Boston Marathon twice, including this year. I became a grandmother for the first time in September. Q: How can people volunteer their time or money? A: While it’s too late to donate for Saturday’s distribution it’s never too late to donate because we start planning right after it’s finished. To donate financially, contact chairman Vic Macy at (530) 888-3750. Or save what you plan to donate through the fall, when we put our barrels out. ~ Gus Thomson