The Keizer Chamber Giving Basket Program serves Keizer area children during the holiday season with needed items such as food and clothing, as well as a “want”, which can be anything from books, toys and games to art supplies.
The Giving Basket Program is facilitated by the Keizer Network of Women, K.N.O.W. a member benefit program of chamber membership. The Giving Basket program is funded through the annual PERCEY event, as well as hundreds of donations from the surrounding community.
Each winter 8-10 area businesses set up decorated Christmas trees and hang “gift tags” filled out with wishes of children from our community. Community members take the tags and fill the requests printed on them, return the gift and tag to the tree of which the tag was picked from; then Keizer’s “elves”, the ladies of K.N.O.W with support from the Keizer M.A.K spend a day or two collecting all gifts from within the community businesses and bring them to Santa Central, where the gift tags and supporting gift will be checked for accuracy and placed in a family box, which identifies the family and children in need. (All tags placed in the community are confidential, only listing the age and gender of each child – it is very important to the Keizer Chamber and its volunteers that we maintain the privacy of every child and family.)
In addition to the want/need items which are filled by community members, each family receives a healthy box of food supplies. The boxes are filled to the brim with non-perishable food items, a sack of potatoes, a sack of onions, a sack of apples, a bag of rice and a family size ham to enjoy during the holiday. All of these items are donated through area businesses as sponsors, as well as donations from the Keizer Community Food Bank, and food boxes individual Keizer households gather and deliver to Santa Central. (To learn about area business sponsors visit the K.N.O.W Facebook page, where sponsors are thanked each year as they engage the program.)
We have a schedule of days in which we lean out to our community and ask for help. We have a need each year for many hands to: hand write gift tags, wrap gifts, sort food, organize boxes, and the grand finale of the season – drive boxes of food and gifts to the families.
The second Saturday each December, dozens members of the community join the elves and make home deliveries to each family on our Santa List.
You can find the schedule of events on the Keizer Community Calendar: KeizerChamber.com/events
Please contact us at the Keizer Chamber if you have any questions, or wish to get involved! We would love to have you.