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December 9, 2009 > Local charity's holiday wish list

Local charity's holiday wish list

By Meenu Gupta

Tri-City Volunteers has stood as a beacon of hope ever since it started back in 1970 when retired school teacher Grace Draper and a couple of her friends thought of extending a helping hand to local people in need. The non-profit has now grown into a place for community wellness providing food and emergency social services to over 6,000 families.

Volunteers assist members of the community with basic life needs. "We help relieve uncertainty by providing bags of groceries from the food bank, lunches for the homeless, clothing and furniture, rent assistance and emergency motel vouchers," said Executive Director, Bryan Bevers. The objective is to alleviate hunger by distributing donated food to those in need. "Currently we give out over 10,000 food bags to families and 1800 lunches for the homeless every month," he said. Through sales of merchandise at the thrift store, donations of furniture, clothing and household items result in income to supplement expenses of the food distribution program.

The organization assists local churches and families with emergency needs and also works with the Fremont Fire Department to collect toys for children for Christmas. Families in a housing crisis can receive support with motel vouchers or first-month's rent to keep them in a safe dwelling. The local food bank and thrift store is a lifeline for many in the communities of Fremont, Newark and Union City. In the midst of the current recession and associated sharp rises in unemployment and underemployment, families are faced with fewer resources to address their most basic needs. Demand for food has increased dramaticaly. "We are out of funds for motel vouchers. Times are tough, we are getting new clients and financial donation is down by about 30 percent," said Bevers.

TCV thrift store is now open on Saturdays as well from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when you can come for the best deals on Christmas gifts and support the food bank with your purchases. Donations of cash, clothing, home furnishings, food or volunteer time are urgently needed and appreciated. Donations are accepted at 37350 Joseph Street in Fremont. Those who wish to volunteer their time at the thrift store on Saturday may call (510) 489-2617. You will not only help people in need but will also touch their heart by caring.

Food Bank hours
Mon. - Fri.
8:30 a.m. to noon
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Thrift Store hours
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Tri-City Volunteers, Inc.
37350 Joseph Street, Fremont
(510) 793-4583

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