Bishop’s private and business community gave by the basketful and by the bus load during this past weekend’s coat and food drives for The Salvation Army.
The Kmart parking lot was the hub of much philanthropic activity on Saturday, Nov. 17, with citizens, businesses and service organizations collaborating to provide necessities to support fellow community members in need.
An Eastern Sierra Transit Authority bus was there for the company’s Sixth Annual Stuff-a-Bus food drive, held to help stock the Salvation Army’s food pantry during the holiday season.
“We collected over 350 pounds of food in two hours,” ESTA Transit Analyst Jill Batchelder said. Bishop Lions Club donated about $350 worth of food, delivered by Lions members Ken Lloyd and A.J. Hooper, said Batchelder. Todd and Alisa Lembke brought their traditional holiday donation of two shopping carts full of food. And individual givers left “everything from a can to a bagful.”
“We want to give a big thank you to the locals in the community and the businesses that are so generous,” she continued. Among the generous were J. Rousek Toy Co., Britt’s Diesel, Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, Southern California Edison and Terry Burgess Pet Grooming. KIBS/KBOV usually donates 12-14 unclaimed turkeys from its annual turkey shoot contest, said Batchelder.
ESTA will continue to deliver and pick up food donation boxes for any entity that still wishes to contribute to The Salvation Army’s Cup of Cold Water food pantry. Call (760) 872-1901 ext. 11, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
KIBS/KBOV radio station was also on hand Saturday with a live KIBS FM remote broadcast to kick off its Ninth Annual Coats for Kids drive. Station co-owner Lauren Brandt said that, just during the two-hour remote broadcast, they collected 50 coats for toddlers to teens. Brandt urges the public to continue giving new and “gently used coats your kids have outgrown” until the drive ends on Monday, Dec. 10.
Coats can be dropped off at Kmart’s service desk and at Carl’s Jr. in Mammoth Lakes and Lone Pine until Dec. 15. Carl’s Jr. District Manager Manh Che said, people who donate coats at locations will receive a complimentary meal. Of course, The Salvation Army, located at 621 W. Line St., will accept donations any time of year.
The drive is “an important community event that is near and dear to our hearts,” said Brandt, speaking for co-owner Steve Miller, on-air personalities Gary Young, Mike “The Chevy” Cheuvront and Arnie Palu and the rest of the station’s staff. “It is important that the public become aware of children in Inyo and Mono counties who have a strong need for coats during the winter.”
Five coat-drive raffle winners, announced Nov. 19, claimed three bikes donated by Pepsi and Kmart, a long board skateboard donated by Coca Cola and a Kmart gift card donated by KIBS/KBOV. One bike winner promptly donated her prize to The Salvation Army. “Most people want to give … Their main motivation is to help the community, especially in this tough economy,” said Brandt.
Salvation Army Lt. Cathie McCulley said the day “went very well … and people can still give.” The Salvation Army is accepting food, toys and coats, McCulley said, “and we will be serving dinner on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) from 12:30-2:30 p.m.” People can apply for Christmas food baskets from Monday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 14. Coats, food baskets and toys will be distributed on Thursday, Dec. 20, she added.