Season of Giving, the collaboration of the city of American Canyon, non-profit organizations, businesses, churches and others to provide assistance for the holidays, is helping more than 90 families this year, more than twice as many as last year, Brian Farmer, one of the event’s organizers, said Monday. Qualified families came to the Community Center gymnasium Sunday for free turkeys, toys for kids, photos with Santa and to enjoy games, prizes and caroling by the American Canyon High School chorus.
This year the main organizers of the assistance program, the American Canyon Kiwanis chapter in American Canyon and American Canyon Family Resource Center, were supported by more than 50 donors and sponsors, including big businesses such as Walgreens, Walmart and Safeway; mom-and-pop establishments such as Asian Wok & Grill, Larry’s Trading Post and Fast Signs; and service groups such as local Scouting organizations and the local post of Veterans of Foreign Wars. Holy Family Church, Refuge Church and Holy Ground Christian Center were among the participants.
“What I like, I really brings the community together, which I think is the most important thing,” said Sherry Tennyson, director of American Canyon Family Resource Center.
The Lions Club of American Canyon provided 150 turkeys for qualified families and the event gave two toys apiece to more than 300 kids, according to Kiwanis board member Brian Farmer. Local restaurants, including Mi Zacatecas, La Strada and Round Table Pizza donated food for consumption at the event.
Farmer said planning for the event began in June and he believes more organizations will participate next year.
There were carnival style games for kids. New Councilmember and Kiwanian Kenneth Leary created an “Angry Birds” style game made with balloons, a bean bag and polystyrene blocks.
Tennyson said families were interviewed to determine if they qualified under federal poverty guidelines using proof of income and residency.
“Everyone has to come in (to the office),” Tennyson said.
Tennyson praised everyone for stepping up to help.
“It shows this is a strong community,” Tennyson said.