The Lakewood community’s commitment to caring is obvious every holiday season when the Youth Center at Del Valle Park transforms into the “Project Shepherd Warehouse.” Teddy Bear Tree toys are gathered and the makings for family holiday meals are assembled. A small army of volunteers and city staff makes lists and checks them twice to help an expected 300+ Lakewood families in economic need have a brighter holiday season. Everyone involved will be continuing Project Shepherd’s 45-year commitment of helping residents in need during the holiday season, along with a year-round mission of maintaining an emergency food pantry. New volunteers are welcome to join in the work starting December 5. Volunteers will sort and organize canned goods, pack and move boxes, assist patrons to their vehicles and other tasks as needed. If you are interested in volunteering please go to the websites below to sign up for a shift, or call the Burns Community Center at 562-925-7512. Both adults and teens are welcome to sign up for one or more shifts. Shifts are for one hour, but may end earlier or later, depending on workload. Morning shifts (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.): http://signup.com/go/PS2017_MorningVolunteers Evening shifts (3:00 to 7:00 p.m.): http://signup.com/go/PS2017_EveningVolunteers For more information on Project Shepherd, go to www.lakewoodcity.org/projectshepherd.
Monetary help is still needed, as are toys and simple food staples like canned meat and fish, canned fruit, pasta, rice and cereal, peanut butter and canned soup. Basics like toilet paper, laundry detergent and toothpaste are also welcome. Project Shepherd also needs $10 grocery gift cards from any local grocery store. These gift cards are given to families so they can purchase a ham or turkey to complete their holiday meal. With your help, Project Shepherd will ensure there’s enough joy for everyone in Lakewood during this holiday season. Financial contributions can be made by check to: Lakewood Project Shepherd, 5050 Clark Ave., Lakewood, 90712. Donations can also be made online at www.lakewoodcity.org/GiveProjectShepherd. Donations of non-perishable food and grocery staples can be made at most city parks and facilities. Suggested drop-off locations are: • Burns Community Center at 5510 Clark Avenue • Lakewood City Hall at 5050 Clark Avenue • Weingart Senior Center at 5220 Oliva Avenue • Palms Park Community Center at 12305 207th Street near Del Amo Boulevard and Norwalk Boulevard. Last year 332 families were served, helping 1,233 individuals living in Lakewood, many of them children. They were able to enjoy the holidays when they otherwise lacked the food, gifts and toys that many of us take for granted.