Editor: Writing a letter of thanks to the businesses, volunteers and supportive staff from the school districts to the City of Brentwood and the council is something the Board of the Brentwood Community Chest (BRCC) does pretty much every year, because there are always commendable efforts by all of those who are involved in bringing the effort to a successful conclusion.

This year the challenges seemed at times almost insurmountable. There were several meetings and discussions as to the viability of pulling this all together without being shut down by the county or state officials or some other Covid-related “snag.” At the end of the day, we all agreed “If we can’t do it this year, with ALL the need that is out there, why do we exist - We HAVE to pull this together!” And so, WE did!

When we refer to “We,” no longer is it referring to just the BRCC Board, but to all who contributed to the successful execution of this year’s holiday program. As anticipated, the demand this year was high - families have all been challenged with lack of accessibility, lack of income, lack of timely medical treatment … name one thing that hasn’t been negatively impacted by the pandemic. State and county regulations quashed our ability to conduct the Friday packing process (our favorite part of the holiday season), required us to eliminate the pancake breakfast for all those waiting, altered the registration process, and lastly nearly cost us access to the quantity of food required to make this all work. Schools and community service organizations all stepped up and modified their normal food drives to focus more on our shortage of Christmas presents for the kids. We received outstanding coordination and support from Brentwood Strong.

The City of Brentwood has always provided us with exceptional support, but this year, showed up at the front of the line acknowledging both the new level of need and provided support both financially and through city staff. Additionally, Chief Tom Hansen and members of his team (accompanied by Santa-Mayor), facilitated a toy drive over several days with outstanding results. Fundraising this year exceeded expectations with extraordinary support coming from numerous businesses and individual families. We must also acknowledge the support from our friends at WINCO. They have sourced our fresh / frozen food items for the distribution for the past 18 years. This year they found their own supply chain would not allow for providing product in the quantities we required. The management at the Brentwood store stepped up and managed to convince their suppliers to fill our order, so a special thank-you to WINCO Foods. To all of the families who have made an annual event of assisting with the program, don’t count us out!

We will be back for the 2021 Holiday Season at full stride with pancakes on the grill and smiles on our uncovered faces!! Happy Holidays to our core volunteers and ALL who helped make this year’s event both memorable and successful.

Dana Eaton, Kevin King, Lill Pierce and Jane Rodriguez

Brentwood

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