Even a brisk 46-degree morning and above-average winds did not discourage the array of bundled up volunteers, bright-eyed radio personalities, exuberant O2 staff, and overwhelming line-up of vehicles from coming out in force as the 11th Annual Give Redding Holiday Drive kicked off promptly at 7am on November 17th, 2023.
Started in 2012, the Give Redding Holiday Drive is an annual event hosted by O2 Employment Services, but fully supported by local businesses and the community. Give Redding has now become the community’s largest food drive.
“We are so grateful for and inspired by the generosity of our community this holiday season for the kids and families we serve,” said Kimberly Johnson, Interim CEO of One SAFE Place, as she darted from thanking O2 staff members, joining K-Shasta for a radio interview, unloading vehicles full of donations from community members, hugging event sponsors, and back to the beginning of the cycle by thanking more O2 staffers.
After several hours and thousands of items were loaded into the designated delivery truck, crews packed up and relocated to divvy up the spoils at One SAFE Place – one of the three beneficiaries that also included Pathways To Hope For Children and the Good News Rescue Mission.
“We are incredibly grateful for these donations of food and toys, especially before the holidays,” shared Justin Wandro, Director of Development for the Good News Rescue Mission. “Toys, especially. Those will go to children staying at our shelter and to families who are on the verge of becoming homeless.”
With finals totals still being tabulated, it would be safe to say that this year’s Give Redding Holiday Drive was incredibly successful and will have a meaningful impact throughout the holidays for local families most in need.
In a heartfelt reflection of the event a few days later, Heidi posted: “No matter what our community is going through, I am always amazed at how we pull together to support those in need. This year is no exception as the needs of our local organizations that support children and families need our help more than ever.”