“Monday is the day we go out and purchase to backfill,” said Juarez.
Early Tuesday, Christmas Eve morning, dozens of trucks will be filled by an army of volunteers to set out on pre-determined routes to deliver the baskets.
Each recipient Santa Paula family was pre-qualified by the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley to determine need: “They did a great job,” said Juarez. “They not only took all the applications and screened them but then also notified the families whether they would be receiving a basket.”
Juarez, a retired Santa Paula Police Lieutenant, said he has worked on many Rotary Christmas Basket campaigns.
“I’ve done everything over the years, worked on applications, taken donations, filled baskets, delivered...now I’m the chairman.
“It’s a very daunting task,” but one that Juarez has willingly tackled.
He noted, “When I was a kid we were pretty poor...and we used to get Rotary Christmas Baskets,” and now Juarez is able to give back.
If you would like more information or to arrange a donation call Juarez at 805-290-5525
Donation boxes that have been displayed at area businesses will be picked up Friday morning although Juarez said those who would like to make donations can do so at the Community Center on Saturday and Sunday.
That includes cash and checks as the club has run short this year on monetary donations to cover the cost of the produce and chickens purchased by the club.
Monetary contributions may be given to any Santa Paula Rotary Club member or mailed to the Rotary Club at P.O. Box 809, Santa Paula, CA 93061. Please make all checks payable to Santa Paula Rotary Christmas Basket Fund. Visit the Rotary website at www.santapaularotary.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or speak with any Rotary Club of Santa Paula member.
Remember: the success of the Rotary Christmas Basket Program is largely dependent on the legendary generosity of the Santa Paula community. Students, churches, Scout troops, clubs, and mobile home parks have all contributed in the past showing their support to help our Santa Paulans in need this Christmas season.