Big Bear News – Big Bear Lake, CA – The Bear Valley Holiday Giving Collaborative will begin in-person interviews for families in need to help provide food and toys this holiday season. Interviews are held at the Elks Lodge at 40611 Village Drive in Big Bear Lake. Interview dates will take place on Saturdays, November 4th, November 11th, December 2nd and December 9th from 12noon to 2pm each day. Please bring proof of Big Bear Valley residence. If you need assistance, please do not call the Elks Lodge. Telephone the helpline at 909-866-5070, extension 1100.
The Holiday Giving Collaborative started almost 20 years ago to help organize the efforts of local service organizations and churches in order to serve as many people in need in the community. Each year, they hold four interview dates for parents or guardians to sign up where they receive help completing the application. There is no income requirement, but applicants must be local residents. If you are a Big Bear Valley resident and ask for help, you will receive it! The Holiday Giving Collaborative offers meals and gifts for children. Senior citizens may also sign up whether they have children or not. Proof of residency is required and applications will be vetted for accuracy.
The Holiday Giving Collaborative consists of dozens of local agencies and each provide a valuable service to the overall program. The organizations include the American Legion providing meals for active military and veterans, Bear Valley Electric Service, Inc. donates turkeys or gift cards to help fill the meal boxes, the Bear Valley Firefighter Association provides gifts for about 35-40 kids, Big Bear Masonic Lodge provides space for toy sorting, bagging and distribution, Big Bear Elks provides space for meetings and the interviews, plus meals at Thanksgiving, Big Bear Lion’s Club provides meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas, collects toys and is the lead organization for planning, Big Bear Rotary holds one of the interview dates, collect and donate toys, help with bagging and other tasks, Big Bear Sheriff’s/COPS provide gifts for about 35-40 kids, BVUSD vets the families with children and provides data entry, keeps the list and helps coordinate, DOVES supports their clients with food and toys, The Journey Church provides meals for families and volunteers on collaborative activities, Soroptimist and AAUW provided meals to single Mothers at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Soroptimist also volunteers on collaborative activities, St Columba’s provides meals for families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and St Joseph’s provides meals to the biggest families and also provides space for the food “store”. Additionally, the Mom & Dad Project and the Big Bear Chamber assist in publicizing the program.
If you would like to help support the Holiday Giving Collaborative, monetary donations are welcomed and can be put toward food or toys, if the donor wishes to specify. Also, there are toy collection bins placed around the Valley before Thanksgiving. Currently, they help serve about 200 families.