Holiday Drive in full swing at Centennial Mall
The 22rd annual KRAI Holiday Drive is in full swing at the Centennial Mall in Craig, and is currently taking donations of toys, canned goods, and monetary contributions ahead of the holiday season.
This year’s holiday drive will benefit Open Heart Advocates, Christmas for kids, Christmas for Seniors and the Interfaith Food Bank. The vast majority of people attending the event drove up to the front of the mall and donated checks to the organizations from inside their cars, remaining safe during a spike in COVID-19 cases in the community.
All donations remain in Moffat County, as each of the organizations uses to the donations received from the holiday drive to serve the Moffat County community.
Last year, all of the organizations raised $15,000 through the holiday drive. KRAI Sales Director Marci Marumoto has personally been involved in the drive for the last 16 years. Marumoto said that the holiday drive has a significant impact on local organizations.
“For the food bank, on a good year, it can stock their pantry for six months,” Marumoto said. “For Christmas for Seniors, this is the only fundraiser we do, so it is my entire season and this is what I rely on to buy gifts for seniors.
“For Christmas for kids, this is what they rely on as well,” Marumoto added. “For Advocates, this is huge for them as well, because they are getting cash donations plus donations that they need for their safe houses, so this is imperative for them to do their work.”
The Interfaith Food Bank had people standing out in front of the pickup trucks – donated by Cook Chevrolet and Victory Motors – on Thursday. One of those representatives from the food bank, Jeannie Glimidakis, said that her hope for how the drive will impact the food bank is for a normal Christmas.
“I pray that this is a blessing for all the people in the town that aren’t able to have a normal Christmas, to have a normal Christmas,” Glimidakis said.
Karen Bunk, also from the food bank, said that they were just grateful for the donations.
“People have been very generous in donating to the Interfaith Food Bank in Craig and we look forward today to whatever the community can afford and do,” Bunk said.
One of the other organizations, Open Heart Advocates had two representatives there, including Executive Director Meghan Francone.
Open Heart Advocates is a victim’s advocacy and victim’s services organization for those in Moffat County.
“We’re requesting financial support, other things are gift cards for City Market, Walmart, so that we can offer food for our clients,” Francone said. “We were needing quilts for queen, and full and single beds and pillows for beds and then kitchenware like pots and pans. There were some books that we were specifically hoping to receive as they help our clients discuss hard challenging topics with kiddos.”
Francone emphasized that it is important for people to continue to reach out and get the free services that they need. One of the biggest donors was Memorial Regional Health, who has been pushing for donations, according to Francone.
KRAI and the various organizations involved with the holiday drive will be at the Centennial Mall in Craig until 6 p.m. Friday. Those who can’t make it to the mall in person can also donate by texting KRAI to 41444.
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While the state of Colorado will receive much less in vaccines in the second major rollout than expected, Moffat County continues to roll along vaccinating community members with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.