31’ers Reunion Luncheon and Educational Outreach
by David Sharp
Developed at the height of the Great Depression, Boulder City has seen hard times. Families that were fortunate enough to find work still found it difficult to provide much more than bare necessities. There were others who were not so fortunate. The dedication and spirit of these people during these humble beginnings is what makes Boulder City a wonderful place to live. During the Great Depression, people were forced to find value in all of their belongings and people knew better than to take anything for granted. Many who were struggling to get by found it in their hearts to share with those less fortunate than themselves. Those early efforts transformed into a strong city support service called Emergency Aid.
Emergency Aid has been an integral part of Boulder City since the 1930’s. At this time, the churches of Boulder City united to form an organization that would be better equipped to help the community. Families that were barely able to support themselves cared enough about their neighbors to find a way to help. The same spirit that created Boulder City has kept Emergency Aid helping families for nearly 90 years.
The by-laws of Emergency Aid dictates that staff is not allowed to take a salary. The organization continues to work at a 100% volunteer status, which includes 25 directors and about 15 associates working in their food pantry. Other than minimal operating expenses, all donations go directly to those in need.
Emergency Aid moved into the Water and Power Building, located at 600 Nevada Highway, in 2007. Recognizing the good work this organization does to support those less fortunate, The City provides this space in exchange for the services the organization provides to the community. The track record of Emergency Aid has allowed the organization to qualify for grants at the county, state and federal level.
The need for the services Emergency Aid provides has increased considerably over the past few years. The organization and community has risen to the occasion as it did in the 1930’s. Monthly, the pantry distributes 13,000 to 14,000 pounds of food. This figure does not incorporate the addition of Thanksgiving baskets. The sheer volume of today’s need has made it severely challenging to keep the shelves stocked.
With Thanksgiving a few short weeks away, the food pantry has become inundated with requests for the annual Thanksgiving food baskets. They expect to receive a staggering 300 requests by the time the holiday arrives. Food drives are already underway at the Boulder Dam Credit Union and Albertson’s, with many more gearing up.
The Boy Scouts’ “Scouting for Food” collection will take place November 19th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Scouts will hand out collection bags for food donations the week prior. Once you receive your collection bag, fill it with whatever you can and place it at your doorstep or driveway the morning of the 19th. Scouts will pick up your donation and deliver it to the Emergency Aid Food Pantry.
For the Thanksgiving Food Drive, Emergency Aid is seeking essentials for a typical dinner: dressing mix, instant mashed potato mix, sweet potatoes, canned or packaged gravy, broth, cranberries, mushroom soup, etc. They are also hoping for dessert items like pumpkin, cake mixes and frosting. If you’d like to donate a turkey, talk to the Albertson’s management team and they will get your donated turkey to the pantry in time for Thanksgiving food baskets. While this is a brief list for the single holiday, the pantry is constantly in flux, and is always in need of food.
Additionally, Emergency Aid will open the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel Program on Monday, November 28th in the Boulder Dam Credit Union for a three week run. The Christmas Angel program is operated for Boulder City children of low income families, the St. Jude’s kids, and isolated and low income seniors. Generous Boulder City residents provide gifts every year for between 400 and 500 children and seniors. These gifts are in response to specific requests by specific children and seniors written on special cards hanging on the Angel tree at the Boulder Dam Credit Union.
Volunteers will administer the Christmas Angel Program during Credit Union hours 9:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday (6:00 p.m. on Friday) from November 28th through December 16th.
Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with any of these events should call the Emergency Aid Director at 293-0797 as soon as possible.