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Locals assist Rotary with food delivery

Rotary Club of Tehachapi

Small "what ifs" can grow into a community of giving when you live in Tehachapi! A Rotary Club project that was originally designed just for members as a way to give back this holiday season grew by leaps and bounds into a food project that included people from all over the greater Tehachapi area. There were small donations of cash from local individuals and bigger donations from Terra-Gen and BHE Renewables LLC that allowed Rotarians to shop for food to fill 50 boxes, as well as so many individuals in our community who put together boxes of food, many with extra Christmas surprises inside.

From a small idea by Rhonda Brady, the Rotary Club grew this project into a community-wide effort. Lewis Brown at the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER offered the back room for the collection point and each day patiently accepted more and more boxes. Members of Rotary shopped for supplies using the donations. Rotary members met (masked and socially distanced) to wrap and fill boxes of food. By Monday, December 21, Rotary had collected close to 200 boxes-almost $10,000 worth of food and goodies for distribution. Rachel Stanley, a teacher at Jacobsen Middle School put the finishing touches with handmade ornaments included in each box. The Tehachapi Humanitarian group arrived on December 21 to claim the first 60 boxes for distribution. They were helped by members of the American Legion. On Tuesday, the workers from the City of Tehachapi, led by Community Engagement Specialist Key Budge, arrived to help, and, along with members of Rotary, the Police Department and other volunteers distributed the other 140 boxes to grateful seniors and others who needed a bit of extra help this year.

Next year, Rotary hopes to once again hold our traditional Holiday Luncheon for Seniors in our community, but the success of this project and the continuing need to support so many, will see us once again asking for donations of food boxes so we can reach people who have the greatest need. Thank you Tehachapi! What a gift Tehachapi area citizens helped deliver in a year with so much need. Rotary wishes you all a Happy New Year. May we always count our blessings and care for one another.