What began as a gesture to assist 17 local families at Thanksgiving in 1996, has since grown to reach more than 200 Sierra County families every holiday season. Along the way, this pre-Thanksgiving exercise has also grown to become a welcomed and joyful tradition for the family of Moose Lodge #2050 members.

Once again, this year, the lodge coordinated with Bullocks Grocery to assure acquisition of a bountiful supply of holiday staples, which annually averages out to more than $8,000 worth of Thanksgiving goodness. Moose team members then cheerfully gathered at the lodge hall Saturday, November 23 and as quick as Christmas elves, stuffed at least 216 gift baskets and boxes full to overflowing.

These family sized helpings of tasty sides, pies and fixin’s, were to be paired with a whole turkey and eagerly distributed to all the registered recipients by Sunday afternoon. The volunteer effort compiles lists of names through the Matthew 25 food bank and Senior Meals on Wheels programs. While yearly assisting many in the community, lodge leaders acknowledge that many others did not make the list. While the amount of assistance they can muster is presently limited by available space and other factors, lodge members indicate they will be looking to broaden the effort in the future, when possible. All shortcomings aside, Moose Lodge #2050, Bullocks Grocery and all other community members joining to aid this annual endeavor are to be applauded, as they continue to make Thanksgiving very special for so many individuals and families throughout Sierra County.

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