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It may be about two months until Christmas, but that gives the Canby Kiwanis just enough time to put together food boxes and toys for those families that otherwise wouldn't have any Christmas.
Last year, the annual Kiwanis Canby Community Food & Toy Drive provided food for 385 families and gifts for 990 children. This year the organization hopes to do even more for those less fortunate.
As is typical, Canby Kiwanis is coordinating with the county-wide program Compassion in Action/Toy and Joy Clackamas County to ensure there are no duplications of services. Kiwanis will serve families that reside within the Canby School District boundaries. The organization doesn't accept toys earmarked for the Salvation Army, Toy and Joy, the Marines or the KGW Toy Drive so that there are enough to go around the county.
Families who need assistance are asked to sign up starting the second week of November to receive a food basket and gifts for children through age 18. They can sign up at the Canby Public Library, Adult Center, Kiwanis Thrift Store and the Canby Center.
Kiwanis will collect non-perishable food items and new unwrapped toys in the community from early November through Dec. 16. Some of these are bought with donations as well as donated gift cards to local grocery stores.
Every year, Canby residents, businesses, individuals and organizations help with financial donations, time, services, foods and gifts. Throughout the years, Canby residents have provided things with a huge spirit of giving. Kiwanis volunteers, some of whom help the organization without belonging, will pass out the food boxes and toys the weekend before Christmas. Last year they also offered door swags as well as books for the kids and, of course, Santa was there with candy canes. For those who can't make it to the fairgrounds, deliveries are also made the next day.
Canby's residents always has come through with gifts and financial donations because these help "take care of our own," said Sharon Schneider, chair of this year's drive. The club is counting on that happening again, she added. While the project is directed by the Kiwanis Club, its success wouldn't be possible without the generosity of Canby's residents, individuals, organizations and business leaders, Schneider said.
Soon, donation barrels for the Canby Community Food and Toy Drive will appear in more than 50 businesses around the city. "Because Canby has such a giving spirit, we are optimistic that we will be able to provide for the needs of our community this year," said Schneider.
Check the Canby Herald, the Canby Kiwanis website at www.canbykiwanis.org or check out the organization on Facebook for volunteer opportunities and donation information. Tax deductible monetary donations may be sent to the Canby Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 1004, Canby, OR 97013.
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