Community group serves those in need

Press file photo

The late Rose Pierce, seen here in a 2006 photo, founded the Brentwood Regional Community Chest organization that has served the community for more than 50 years.

In the midst of the holiday season, concepts like charity, volunteerism, and community are important to remember. There are many families nationally and locally that do not have the money to put presents under the Christmas tree or a turkey on a table. In order to combat seasonal poverty problems, many organizations and clubs in Brentwood have banded together to make a difference.

For over 50 years, Brentwood Regional Community Chest (BRCC) has delivered food to thousands of families in need of help. The community chest aids with food, toys, and other gifts that financially struggling families might not be able to afford otherwise.

“We have a lot of organizations - service clubs, the Rotary club, the Lions Club, the Soroptimist club - that donate and help,” said Lill Pierce, secretary of the BRCC. “We have lots of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. We have lots of teachers encouraging their students and different groups in the schools that come and help us.” The large cooperative effort between local groups has had a significant impact on those in need.

Dana Eaton, the Brentwood Union School District Superintendent, spoke about the BRCC as well, mentioning the large need for volunteerism and aid outside of the holiday season.

“Another ongoing issue that we see is that we have many families that continue to experience hunger not just in the holiday season, but throughout the year,” he said as he talked about a broader need for giving in Contra Costa County. “So one of the things that we try to do is to help support other organizations that provide support all the way through the year. Because there are families that don’t just need a meal on Christmas, but they need one on January 15th too and so we’re trying to help those organizations that provide that support.” This idea of continuous support as well as connectivity between various non-profit organizations has the potential to create a lasting impact on how the charity operates on a social and financial level.

For anyone interested in giving to the BRCC -- and more than just canned food -- toys and presents for individuals who are not young are sought.

“I see a need for cereal -- breakfast foods -- we don’t always get a lot of breakfast foods,” Pierce said. “Because of the restrictions of COVID, this year we are primarily focusing on the collection of toys or gifts. After 12 years old, we get very little gifts for the kids between 12 and 18.”

While it is fun to go to Target and find a fun, adorable present meant for a 6-year-old, many teenagers need clothing, sports equipment, makeup, and other types of gifts that they would not be receiving otherwise, she said. For more information regarding the BRCC, visit:

Are you a family in need? 

The Brentwood Regional Community Chest will serve families from Brentwood, Knightsen, Byron and Discovery Bay.

The Brentwood Regional Community Chest will be registering families for that organization’s planned Dec. 18 giveaway at the Brentwood Senior Activity Center, 193 Griffith Lane, on:

• Friday, Dec. 3 from 2:30 to 3 p.m

• Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 5 to 6 p.m.

The giveaway is limited to the first 500 people from Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay and Knightsen. Identification and proof of residency is required to register.

The organization promises to not share any of your personal/family information with any outside organization or agency. Masks are required at the registration events.

For more information and registration information, visit The Brentwood Regional Community Chest website at