Dec 8 2011 - 3:18pm

OGDEN -- The United Way of Northern Utah and Weber Human Services would like to applaud the efforts of the community for making the annual turkey drive a success and encourage your giving to extend beyond Thanksgiving and into the holiday season.

Our spotlight this month is on the new food distribution system at the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank run by Catholic Community Services in Ogden. This Client Choice program allows people being served to actually choose exactly what their family needs from each category of food being offered. Moving to this new plan allows the client a more flexible, personal choice and creates less waste. In short, this gives people in need a more pleasant shopping experience.

With the move to the new format, new volunteers are needed to perform shelving, bagging, food sorting and general warehouse work. The holiday hours of the food bank warehouse are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Volunteers are also needed to be drivers for their senior site services and routine pickup from grocery stores in the area. Drivers must be able to drive a large box truck and lift 40-50 lbs.

In addition, because of the growth of needy families in this area, the food bank is looking for volunteers with social work, communications or data entry background who can assist with food client intake work. This would be a three to four hour, one day a week commitment.

As always, if your business, neighborhood, school or church would like to coordinate a food drive, they are welcome to contact volunteer coordinator Karina Martin at 801-39394-5944 ext. 1056 or kmartin@ccsutah.org

Group opportunities

The Salvation Army needs assistance with the Angel Tree program now that names have been collected and items have been purchased. From Dec. 5 to 23, Monday through Friday, all gift items will be sorted at the large warehouse at Business Depot Ogden.

Then, on Dec. 21 and 23, those gifts will be distributed by a drive-up process to the families that are being served. Hours at the warehouse are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., however hours of volunteering can be varied from group to group.

Red Kettle Bell Ringers are also being accepted between now and Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Corporate and group leaders are being encouraged to pick a day to represent the Salvation Army by ringing the bells all over the community. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact volunteer coordinator Homer Purdy at 801-621-3580 ext. 2306 or homer.purdy@usw.salvationarmy.org.

The House of Hope (formerly Serenity House) has a Christmas list full of needed items for their substance abuse treatment facility. Included are large appliances, carpet, gently-used men's and women's clothes, hygiene products, computers and laptops, digital cameras, a pool table, gently used furniture, exercise equipment and journal tablets. Please call Jared Sanford at 801-392-5971 or jsanford@houseofhopeut.org

Your Community Connection needs volunteers this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help organize the Spirit of Christmas for the children served by YCC. On Dec. 12 will be the actual distribution. Call special events coordinator Lynzee Ouellette at 801-689-1706 or secoordinator@yccogden.org if you are interested in participating.

Individual opportunities

The Ogden Christmas Box House is a temporary shelter for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Even though it has "Christmas" in the title, the home operates 365 days a year and serves all of Northern Utah. Volunteers are encouraged to inquire about opportunities throughout the year. Individuals or groups can sponsor a collection drive for new clothing for all sizes, gift cards, or perhaps a gift pass to a recreation center or restaurant for the children. To learn how you can help, contact community outreach representative Jed Platt at 801-866-0350 or jed@thechristmasboxhouse.org.

Volunteers are needed at the food pantry at Ogden Weber Community Action Partnership to assemble the Christmas boxes that will be distributed along with holiday food and supplies. Assistance is needed in the kitchen for light food prep and clean-up from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The OWCAP Community Block Grant office needs regular volunteers to assist in filing, light office paperwork and some computer work any time during office hours Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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