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Hope For The Holidays Is Another Success

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Rotarian Claudia Yakos, right, chair of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove’s Hope For The Holidays Committee, with one of the 45 families served during the annual service event on December 21.

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FOREST GROVE, Oregon (Dec. 31, 2020) – The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the holidays from coming and it did not stop the Rotary Club of Forest Grove from helping a record number of families during its hallmark service project of the year.

Forty-five families were served by the club as part of its Hope For The Holidays event, which took place on Monday, Dec. 21, at the Cornelius Walmart. Identified through a number of community partners, the event helped to provide a more memorable holiday for families who might not otherwise be able to afford to purchase gifts or even food.

“This year, 2020, has been a year like no other but our Rotary Club was able to give Hope For The Holidays to 45 deserving local families,” said Claudia Yakos, the chair of the club’s Hope For The Holidays committee. “Thank you to our amazing Rotarians for their generous contributions. The incredible support received this season helped to make this time of year a little brighter!”

Each family was presented with a $250 Walmart gift card at the event, which could be used to purchase Christmas gifts, food or other essentials. Each family was paired with a Rotarian, who worked as a personal shopper to assist for the evening.

In addition to the 45 families, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove presented the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry with $1,000 to purchase food and other household essentials that the pantry provides to local students and families.

Hope For The Holidays was funded through personal donations by members of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove and income from a wreath sale the club conducted in November. The project also benefitted from a $2,500 matching grant from Rotary District 5100 and a $500 grant from The Allstate Foundation.

In addition to the steering committee’s work leading up to Hope For The Holidays, a total of 22 members of the Rotary Club of Forest Grove and their families participated in the project on shopping night.

The club worked with a number of local community partner to identify families to participate in Hope For The Holidays, including the Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston school districts; St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Old Town Church Forest Grove, Centro Cultural of Washington County, West Tuality Habitat for Humanity and Community Action of Washington County.

Despite meeting online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove has continued to be active in service to the local community. In addition to Hope For The Holidays, the club’s service outreaches over the last year have included providing meals to first responders, providing funds and resources to the Forest Grove High School Food Pantry and providing over $26,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston high schools.

ABOUT THE ROTARY CLUB OF FOREST GROVE: Established in 1924, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove is one of the oldest and largest Rotary clubs in the Portland metropolitan area.  Serving the communities of Forest Grove, Banks, Cornelius and Gaston, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove is a dynamic group of civic-minded business and community leaders, linked by Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is dedicated to helping make our local communities a better place to live through the funding of local organizations, especially those focusing on youth, and through service in local projects. Membership in the Rotary Club of Forest Grove is open to anyone who wishes to make a difference in their community, and the world, through service. To learn more, visit FGRotary.org.

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