Giving Back

Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

By Kayla Anderson

This year has been a crazy one, with the coronavirus pandemic upending many people’s employment and financial responsibilities. This year’s holiday festivities have placed an extra burden on those who could be struggling, but this is also an opportunity to help others in need if you have the means to. Therefore, if you plan on staying home for the holidays (as you should) but want to indulge in that feel-good emotion of giving, here are some local ways to contribute.

Tahoe Family Solutions Toys for Tots Going on Now Through December 19

Tahoe Family Solutions is collecting new, unwrapped toys to give kids and families now through December 19. Drop-offs and pickups are happening at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day through this Saturday, and registered families can claim their Christmas bounty on Saturday the 19th from 10 a.m. to noon via a safe drive-through Families can sign up for the program through Thursday, December 17; kids and their adults must have a valid ID. Additionally, people who bring children must be able to show proof of custodial guardianship.

Tahoe Family Solutions Winter Warmth and Wellness Going on Now Through December 19

Coinciding with the Toys for Tots giveaway, Winter Warmth and Wellness provides North Lake Tahoe families with hygiene items, a limited supply of food items, winter clothing and shoes/boots. This program began 48 years ago and is still going strong to help families get through Tahoe’s chillier months. Those who need these kinds of items don’t have to register to receive them (except if they need diapers) and distribution for the Winter Warmth and Wellness items will take place at the North Tahoe Event Center on December 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. or as long as supplies last.

Wreaths Across America Ceremonies at Fernley, Minden and Carson Cemeteries December 19

Every year Wreaths Across America remembers those who’ve defended our freedom by placing festive garlands on the graves of military veterans. The Incline Village/Crystal Bay Veterans Club has donated $1,300, and more than $6,000 has been generated from both Rotary clubs of Incline Village/Crystal Bay and private donations to provide thousands of wreaths for war veterans. Brief ceremonies prior to the wreath placing will be happening at the Fernley, Minden and Carson City this Saturday, December 19, starting at 9 a.m. Keep in mind that some cemeteries are limiting the number of people who can attend; hot cocoa and coffee will not be available this year. To donate a wreath for next year, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.

Technology for Students is Needed Now More Than Ever

The Incline Education Fund is hosting a technology drive for Incline Middle School, urging people to donate money toward procuring 200 laptops. Devices are needed now more than ever to help kids engaged in Distance Learning continue to get the education the need to progress and prosper in life. For more information about how to aid in Incline Village/Crystal Bay students’ success, visit https://parasol.org/index.php/ief.

Adoption Fees Waived at the Pet Network Through the End of December

Even though animal shelters are closed, there are plenty of pets that still need good homes, which is why the Pet Network is waiving pet adoption fees through the end of 2020. Thanks to the Gately Foundation, all adoptions made in the next two weeks will also be given one full year of pet insurance. Therefore, now that you’re staying home more, why not have a furry little companion to help provide the unconditional love and support that we all need right now?

Along with that, the Pet Network is also accepting donations for its Giving Tree (drop off donations at the Pet Station in Incline Village) to provide a cheery Christmas for pets as well, and it recently implemented its first Emergency Pet Food Relief Bank for pet owners. For more information, visit http://petnetwork.org/.

Ways in Which No One Goes Hungry in Incline Village/Crystal Bay

Between the Sierra Community House, The Village Church, the Tahoe Food Hub and a few other local businesses and nonprofits willing to step up, there should always be enough food on the table for Tahoe families. Sierra Community House and Tahoe Food Hub (both based in Truckee) provide hunger-relief programs and giving boxes filled with fresh produce, while The Village Church in Incline Village provides a food pantry. Raley’s also accepts monetary donations to help put together bags of healthy meals for families. For more information, visit https://sierracommunityhouse.org/; www.thevillagechurchnv.org; andwww.tahoefoodhub.org/donate-1 to start.

Indulge in the Season of Giving This Year

A little bit goes a long way, especially in the time of COVID-19. Anything you can donate will go to a good home. All these entities also accept monetary donations, and any material items that aren’t given away are saved for next year. Have a happy and safe holiday season, and remember that together we can get through this.