Several community groups will be collecting donations this weekend for families in need, headlining into the holiday season:

• Brighter Christmas will hold the first of four drive-thru donation collections from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the old Orchard Supply Hardware store parking lot, 1975 W. 11th Street.

Volunteers will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys along with nonperishable and canned food items.

People can still apply for help from Brighter Christmas and must bring proof of income, a valid ID, verification for their children — birth certificates or California benefit cards, proof of rent and a current gas and electric bill with their address.

Another Brighter Christmas donation collection will be held next week and on the additional two Saturdays following Thanksgiving, locations still to be determined.

• Scouts will be out collecting food donations for Interfaith Ministries during the annual Scouting for Food collection on Saturday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced some changes in the food collection.

Cub Scouts from Pack 525 will be in three parks in south Tracy collecting nonperishable food donations including canned goods, peanut butter, pastas and cereal but no glass items.

Cub Scout from Pack 525 will be at Veterans Park, 238 Glenhaven Drive, William Lowes Park, Regis and Brookview drives and Yasui Park, 516 Glenbriar Circle between 9 and 11 a.m.

On Sunday Boy Scouts from Troop 525 will be collecting food donations left on porches in front of homes in the Edgewood neighborhoods starting at 11 a.m.

• Girls Scouts Heart of Central California Service Unit 116 Tracy & Mountain House will hold a fill the tent donation drive on Saturday, collecting nonperishable food donations for Tracy Interfaith Ministries. People can drop off donations at the Girl Scout Hut, 2301 Bessie Avenue, and will be collecting donations left on porches from 1 to 3 p.m. in neighborhoods around South MacArthur Drive and Central Avenue.

The Girl Scouts will also be collecting food at the hut from 9 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 21 and picking up donations left on porches from 1 to 3 p.m. in neighborhoods around Tracy Boulevard and Schulte Road.

• Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child will have its annual packing event which is open to the public from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Shoebox filled with gifts — school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys — that are shipped to children worldwide.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions families can sign up for 20-minute time slots to pack boxes. People are asked to bring spare change to help pay for the $9 donation to help ship the boxes. To sign up for a time to pack of for more information contact Michele Loomis at

People can pack their own shoeboxes and bring them to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and leave them at a curb-side collection. Boxes will be accepted starting Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday evening 6 to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday 10 to noon, Nov. 22 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Instruction on what is needed and how to pack a shoebox can be found on the Samaritan’s Purse website.

• Students at West High will be holding a canned food drive all next week benefiting Tracy Interfaith Ministries.

Donations can be dropped at a collection spot at the bus loop on Lowell Avenue from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• American Heritage Girls Troop 5160 and Trail Life Troop 3:6 of Tracy hosted a drive-thru food donation last Saturday at St Paul’s Lutheran Church, benefiting the Second Harvest food bank.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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