Season of Giving
The Season of Giving
I hate to be a Christmas Grinch, but I’d like to remind everyone this Christmas season NOT to give money to transients. Giving money to transients does not help our community. Transients use money to buy alcohol, methamphetamine, and other drugs. The use of alcohol and drugs leads to violence. When transients can’t afford alcohol and drugs, our community is safer.
If you’d like to give to those less fortunate, there are so many great ways to do so. Our community has some of the best non-profits, and they are eager to serve the people who would really appreciate your help.
One of our area’s most important charitable agencies is the Ukiah Food Bank, and they are currently in the midst of their annual fund drive. This agency feeds those who would otherwise go hungry in our community, and they need our help. The money raised during their annual fundraising drive allows them to provide services for the entire year.
Like other communities here in Northern California, our community struggles with how best to support our homeless population and needy families who simply can’t afford food and other basic needs. This is exactly what our food bank does so well.
Each week, the Food Bank distributes food to an average of 1,689 people in inland Mendocino County. With a meager annual budget of about $100,000, the Food Bank serves more than 20,000 people each year. A small federal food stamp program pays for some of the food, but the vast majority comes from donations by local grocery stores, private gardens, and food purchased with money generously donated by local community members.
Who goes to the Food Bank?
51 percent of those served are local families with children, including people who are unemployed or only have part-time employment that doesn’t provide enough income to purchase necessities.
22 percent of those served are local senior citizens on fixed incomes.
28 percent of those served are local individuals who are disabled and cannot work.
The food bank also provides emergency food to almost three dozen people a month who have nowhere else to turn.
You may have already read about the donation drive in the Ukiah Daily Journal. For the past several years, the Ukiah Daily Journal has sponsored the Food Bank’s annual funding drive and this drive really helps make Ukiah a better place.
Because this drive is the primary funding source of the Food Bank’s annual budget, without it – without your help – our Food Bank could not operate.
Donating is simple: make your check out to UCC Food Bank and either send it to the Ukiah Food Bank at 888 N. State Street, or drop it by the Ukiah Daily Journal at 617 S. State Street, Ukiah 95482.
If you’re feeling generous, I’d also recommend donating to the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort. They can really use our help to serve poor families this Christmas season. Your funding helps provide fresh, nutritious Christmas dinners with turkeys, stuffing, cranberries and all the other trimmings for the whole family; plus much needed toys and other age-appropriate gifts for those under 18.
Send donations to the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort at P.O. Box 801, Ukiah, CA 95482, or contact President Sheryl Graves at (707) 272-9627 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their fantastic Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UkiahValleyChristmasEffort
Starting at 8:00 am on the day before Christmas, these great meals and toys are delivered all over town. If you’re interested in delivering some of these very special packages to families in the Potter Valley, Ukiah and Hopland areas, contact the Christmas Effort folks .
If you can, please consider donating to our local non-profits instead of giving handouts to transients; local charities like the Food Bank and the Christmas Effort make a profoundly positive difference in our community.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
By: Chris Dewey – Chief of Police