Approximately 1,600 families will receive boxes of food and new toys today, making their holidays a little bit brighter, thanks to the hard work and generosity of the community through the Turlock Together program.
For 19 years, Turlock Together has been serving the community as a collaboration of different ministries, non-profits, schools, charitable groups and service clubs working together to achieve the same goal of helping the community.
“We all partner up and work together to avoid duplication and work towards the same goal to serve families,” said Lisette Maunakea, Salvation Army Social Services director and Turlock Together coordinator.
This year, California State University, Stanislaus donated over 700 toys and Turlock Junior High brought in 24 full barrels of canned food items.
“Their contributions are so important to us and make such a difference,” Maunakea said.
Volunteers at the warehouse have included local 4-H clubs, elementary schools, high schools, church groups and businesses.
“It’s so great that we are getting to help families and people in need throughout the area, but it’s also great that Turlock Together brings the community together as one,” she said.
Maunakea wants everyone to know that it is not too late to sign up for a Christmas food box and toys if a family is in need, and today from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the last time to do so.
Their goal for next year is to encourage more of the schools to get involved.
“It’s great when we can make the spirit of giving fun,” said Maunakea. “I hope that next year we can spark a friendly competition between the school and the community.”
To get involved in next year's Turlock Together effort, attend one of the monthly meetings held at 7 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Salvation Army building, 893 Lander Ave.