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Salvation Army: 2021 Holidays in Review | Way of life

The 2021 holiday season has been a very busy year for all of us here at the Salvation Army Community Center in Tehachapi. Sandy Chavez (Centre Coordinator), staff and volunteers humbly thank our community for the overwhelming show of support over the holidays. The miracle of your donations, beginning with our annual coat drive in October, has warmed the hearts and bodies of so many in the community. The Rotary Club of Tehachapi generously donated over $500 worth of new children’s coats. More than 240 coats were donated to children, teenagers and adults in need.

Our Thanksgiving Food Boxes have served over 300 people and our Christmas Food Boxes have served over 250 people during the holidays. We would like to thank Albertsons for their ongoing and annual support, as we were able to purchase our turkeys directly from them for the holiday food boxes. Many thanks to Influencers Bakersfield for donating over 75 hams for our Thanksgiving event, and Tompkins Elementary School for their huge donation of canned food from their students and families. Many thanks to the Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District team and Kern County Fire Department Team 11 for laboring and transporting 300 turkeys from Albertsons to the Tehachapi Community Center in the Salvation Army. We are grateful to the Tehachapi Area Realtors Association, Country Realty and Platinum Realty who consistently assist us each month as we assemble and distribute monthly products. Their help was greatly appreciated during the holidays, when much more is given. Also, a special thank you to Protech Auto Service for their ongoing canned food donations that help keep our pantry stocked.

Huge thanks to Lucia Guzman-Mendoza for organizing the Angel Tree program. It’s a monumental task, but it’s definitely worth knowing that more than 300 children were able to receive several Christmas gifts. Thank you to First Baptist Church for graciously allowing us to use their church to host the event. Working hard and always providing toys for children, thanks to the combined efforts of the California Highway Patrol, Marty Pay Farmers Insurance and Toys for Tots, who collected and donated hundreds of toys. We are also grateful for the grocery gift cards provided by Delta Liquid Energy. These gift cards allow us to help people in need throughout the year.

This year we were able to offer the students of our after-school youth program a very special Christmas event. A shipment of gifts was delivered by TAAR Realty groups including Country Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty, American Pacific Mortgage, Diana Williams, Adonae Faris, Boles Mortgage Advisor, OQP Homes, Joe Mo of Miramar International Tehachapi and Noonan Group, for students in our youth program. A very special thank you to the staff of Aspen Builders Inc. for your donations which provided five more boxes of Christmas gifts for children in our youth program. Thanks to Tony Ayon Broker/Owner of Miramar International for supplying TK’s Pizza for the children’s Christmas party.

To the Tehachapi Community, we thank you for cash donations dropped off at the Community Center and at our kettles located at Albertsons, Save Mart and Walmart! Your generosity in donations and volunteerism has raised over $43,000 for your local Salvation Army! These funds will stay locally here in Tehachapi and will be used to fund our programs for the year 2022. It helps local families with food, utility assistance, bus transportation, sending children to camp. summer and helps fund our after-school youth program.

More than that, your generous donations give hope to everyone who walks through our doors. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination, and we could not do this without your local support.

The Salvation Army Tehachapi Service Extension includes Sandy Chavez, center coordinator; Kyle Yates, Youth Development Coordinator; and Melissa Valdez, youth worker.