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The program will be sponsored by the Crook County Foundation and loyal volunteers and community members

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Volunteers wrap gifts during the 2019 Holiday Partnership.

Despite the challenges due to COVID-19, volunteers and community members have found a way to continue the annual Holiday Partnership, which provides much-needed gifts and food boxes to the community.

Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation executive director, pointed out that the Crook County Foundation is taking over the physical sponsorship of the Holiday Partnership, due to the fact that the Crook County Health Department is not able to put in the time, because they are busy dealing with COVID-19.

For the most part, the project will move forward as usual, except for how the gifts are packaged, prepared and delivered.

"The only major change is going to be pick-up – it's going to have to be a drive-thru," Ebner elaborated.

She added that participants will drive through with cars and will not be able to come inside the building. The volunteers will also not be wrapping gifts this year.

"Those will be the only two major changes," Ebner said.

The Holiday Partnership is a giving project in Crook County for those who are less fortunate at Christmas time. It is a volunteer-based project that helps provide food boxes to eligible families and individuals, and gifts to senior citizens and children under the age of 18.

Those on the receiving end of the program are eligible based on income and the number of people per household. The applications can be found on the website for the Crook County Holiday Partnership, www.ccholidaypartnership.com/how-to-apply. Eligibility guidelines are included on the website, including information on households and income. The deadline for the applications is Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.

Every Christmas season, the Holiday Partnership collects donations to provide Christmas presents and food boxes with ingredients and materials for a healthy, hearty holiday meal. To collect the gifts, volunteers make gift tags based on the requests found on applications, which are available to eligible households. Those tags are attached to gift trees that businesses and other entities display throughout the season.

Ebner pointed out that this year, the Crook County Foundation is doing the marketing piece for the event, which includes a new website, Facebook page, new phone number and new email.

"We are set up in a way so they can transfer, regardless of what organization is in charge of the program in the future," said Ebner.

She noted that they are on track with the many pieces of the program, and she emphasized that they have an incredible group of volunteers.

"We have such an amazing group of volunteers, they just know their roles, and as soon as they heard we are going to make it happen, they just jumped in and did what they were supposed to do, so things are just going really well," she added.

If folks are interested in volunteering, there are many ways to help this year. Some needs before Dec. 16 include dropping off boxes to food drive locations, picking up donated food weekly and dropping off at the storage area for the Holiday Partnership, assembling tags, distributing Trees of Joy and name tags, picking up Trees of Joy gifts and dropping off at storage areas, and setting up tables and/or filling food boxes at the Carey Foster Hall.

After Dec. 16, there are also multiple opportunities to volunteer.

If local businesses and individuals wish to contribute, there are many ways to do so, in support of the Holiday Partnership. They can conduct a business challenge or individually support by doing a food drive, cash donations, or contribute to groups of most-needed items. To get a list of these items, visit the Holiday Partnership website. The needed items for food boxes are also posted on the website.

Sidebar

Interested in helping with the Holiday Partnership? Go to: www.ccholidaypartnership.com

To fill out an application as a recipient, go to: www.ccholidaypartnership.com/how-to-apply. Deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Contact information: Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation executive director

Address: P.O. Box 1136, Prineville

Phone: 541-362-1976


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