Community Affairs

Holiday Food Collaborative

As a community Service project, AAUW  participates in the Holiday Food Collaborative. Families in need sign-up for help with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners through the Collaborative. These sign-ups are vetted and organized to ensure that everyone gets ONE donation and all truly qualify for the donation.

AAUW has participated in the Holiday Food Collaborative for the last five years.   This last two years the Collaborative had to switch to gift cards for the local markets instead of the baskets due to the pandemic.   In each of the last two years we were able to donate $1,200.

In 2021 our AAUW branch was able to help twelve single mothers and their families for Thanksgiving and Christmas through our donations to the Holiday Food Collaborative.  Most of these women are working and have lived in Big Bear for many years.  One of the single mothers is newly single after separating from her children’s father.  With three children ages five to eight, she’s struggling to figure things out on her own.  Another of the single mothers with two children just moved here last summer to live with her father because of the housing crisis.  His rental is now up for sale, making the whole family homeless.  They are looking for a new place to rent. (If anyone knows of a rental coming up soon please let us know and we’ll pass on the information.)  Two of the mothers we helped have four boys each to feed.  If you’ve raised boys you know what that means.  There is never enough food.

One mother expressed gratitude that she could shop for her own food instead of getting the food box.  She was happy to be able to buy the food that suits their preferences and holiday traditions. Funny how the pandemic forced us into a new way of helping these single mothers, and that the gift cards turned out work even better for them than the food boxes that took so much effort and coordination.

The recipients were truly amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude for the special help during the holidays. This is truly a feel good project—helping struggling single mothers provide a nice holiday dinner for their children.

Community  Involvement

Big Bear Alpine Zoo Curator Bob Cisneros briefs members on the status of the new zoo, scheduled to open summer of 2019.