Keeping a holiday project going

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2003

For the past seven years the Juneau Yacht Club has furnished Christmas food baskets to a wide variety of deserving clientele of the Salvation Army, Glory Hole, St. Vincent De Paul and the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

Rachael Macleod, a longtime personal friend of mine, has been leading this project for the past seven years, during which time it has grown from furnishing 50 baskets to a grand total of 320 baskets last year. Rachael has been instrumental in this success through soliciting monetary contributions and shopping all year long to obtain the best prices on necessary food items. She has worked hard and has had incredible assistance from friends and merchants throughout our community.

I recently saw an article in the Juneau Empire discussing the Glory Hole and read that the Yacht Club would no longer be able to furnish these Christmas food baskets. I recognized that despite her tireless efforts, the time had come for others to step up and fill Rachael's very tired shoes. Although few will be able to take the place of Rachael's stellar leadership, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Juneau and REACH Inc. will attempt to keep this great community assistance project alive.

The National Association of Home Builders, and all state and local chapters, have a program called "Builders Care." This program hinges on caring about our communities, caring about the well-being of our children, and caring about the hopes and dreams of our neighbors. HBA Juneau would like to adopt the Christmas Food Basket project as their "Builders Care" project for Juneau.

REACH has already offered to facilitate the packing and storage of the individual baskets. Likewise, HBA Juneau has set up an account at Wells Fargo Bank and is prepared to accept donations from those people who have helped Rachael with this in the past. Contributions from others throughout the community would also be greatly appreciated. Recognizing that this project is getting a very late start for Christmas 2003, we urge interested people to get involved as soon as possible.

It will take much more than the HBA of Juneau and REACH to replace Rachael, but hopefully we can keep the tradition that she, the Juneau Yacht Club and others began. With your help we can lend a hand to as many of our Juneau neighbors as possible so that they too may have a good Christmas dinner and a happy holiday season.

If you helped with this project in the past, please continue to be involved. If not, please consider getting involved and join in this project. Donations by check, credit card or direct deposit can be made to any one of the following:

• Check: HBA of Juneau, 1900 Crest Street, Suite 204, Juneau, AK 99801

• Credit card: Call 463-5774 or fax your donation to 463-5821. Please include your name, address, credit card number and expiration date.

• Direct deposit: To the account "HBA of Juneau, Builders Care Xmas Boxes" at any Wells Fargo Bank.

For further information please call 463-5774 or 780-5888.

Thanking you in advance for your help.

•Rita Hamilton is the treasurer of the Home Builders Association of Juneau and one of the charter members when it was established in 1977.

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