Thanks to Port Orchard Cares community

Members of the Port Orchard Rotary Club and Soroptimist International of Port Orchard completed their 21st annual Port Orchard Cares Christmas event at South Kitsap Fire District 7’s Tremont station Dec. 22 with a wrapping party.

Gifts and food were distributed to 55 families, including 168 children who were “adopted” from the community and local churches, as well as five Coast Guard families.

Activities for the project began on Nov. 17 and continued through Dec. 1 at local grocery stores where the food collection took place. Rotary and SIPO members purchased gifts for the children of the identified families. The food was stored on shelving in the fire station and the gifts securely held until the wrapping party on Dec. 22. It was at that time when the folks received their food and gifts.

We extend our heartiest thanks to all members of the community who shared so selflessly to help others. Your Christmas spirit and great generosity have been an inspiration to us. Special thanks go to the South Kitsap Rotary Club, who joined us for both the 2017 and 2018 Port Orchard Cares projects. They didn’t hesitate to participate in food collection and/or buying gifts and enthusiastically showed up for the wrapping party.

Very special thanks go to Safeway and the two Albertsons stores in the area. The store managers have always granted permission for the food collection effort and we appreciate their support and cooperation in support of the mission. Gary Lindstrom, manager of the Sedgwick Albertsons store, was especially helpful with acquiring the fresh foods that had to be supplied in a timely manner.

We also extend heartfelt thanks to longtime supporter Scott McClendon, who supplies shelving for food storage; to Mike Wilson and Grey Chevrolet for providing a large van to transport food from the stores to the fire station; to Southard, Beckham, Atwater and Berry CPAs for gift security; to South Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s Chief Steve Wright and all the fire and emergency crew who permitted use of the facility for food storage and the conference room for gift wrapping; and to friends and family members who helped with all the work. And last, but by no means least, again, to all of the wonderful people of Port Orchard and the South Kitsap area who contributed so generously to the effort — thank you.

Port Orchard abounds with people who truly care — and we are proud and thankful to be a part of such a giving community.

Dave Selbig, Port Orchard Rotary Club

Tammy Wilson, Soroptimist International of Port Orchard