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Turlock Together gearing up for holiday season
Volunteer meeting set for Oct. 24
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Students help sort food by category for Turlock Together at the Turlock Fruit Company. There will be a volunteer informational meeting at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Salvation Army for those wishing to help out with the holiday effort this year. - photo by Journal file photo

With the holidays rapidly approaching, Turlock Together is preparing for another season of providing families in need with food and toys for Christmas. Turlock Together will hold their first public meeting on Oct. 24, where the organization will discuss not only how they got started, but what volunteers can expect when helping with this holiday season.

The voluntary cooperation of ministries, business, non-profits, schools, service clubs and community workers is known for its iconic blue barrels that can be seen around town as part of the annual fundraising effort for families in need. Community members can drop off donations — such as unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items — in one of the blue barrels, or at Turlock fire stations, City Hall, the Salvation Army and many schools and churches throughout the city.

Though participation in the Turlock Together fundraising endeavor is often high, volunteer Dona Varin hopes that even more community members will help out this year.

“There’s always been quite a bit of participation, but with the growing population in Turlock a lot of it has been lost,” said Varin. “That’s why we wanted to have this meeting.”

Meeting attendees will be informed on Turlock Together’s plans for the upcoming holiday season, such as the distribution of barrels, how volunteers can become more involved with distribution and putting together food baskets and new organizations that are contributing to the cause this year.

“The holidays to me, above religious connotations, have always been about helping those in need,” said Varin. “I can’t imagine my children ever going without when they were little, but there are so many who are whether it’s food or toys.”

Varin encourages anyone who is involved with community organizations or churches to attend the Turlock Together meeting, as well as “anyone who wants to participate.” The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Salvation Army, 893 Lander Ave.

“It’s a good organization to be involved in, and we are hoping for a lot more community participation,” said Varin.