SAVES sets record with December Holiday Baskets

PALMDALE – Hundreds of low income families in Palmdale will be able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas this year, thanks to South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES).

SAVES distributed 275 holiday baskets and gift bags to families in need Tuesday, setting a new record for themselves.

“We went 125 over what we did last year,” said SAVES Coordinator Patricia Morales, adding that the effort continues to grow each year.

The December holiday baskets include all the items necessary for a holiday dinner, such as a 12 lb. turkey, stuffing, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, instant mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, boxed macaroni and cheese, corn muffin mix, canned pumpkin mix, gravy, broth, rolls, oatmeal, juice, fruit, pie crust mix and margarine or butter.

Families also received a toy or clothing item for each child under 18 in their household.

“To make sure that every child has at least one gift to open,” Morales said.

SAVES partnered with local civic organizations this year to provide each family with a gift bag, which contains a board game, popcorn and cocoa.

“So the family can play the board game together and have a complete family night,” Morales said.

Many of the toys were donated from the Antelope Valley Transit Authority’s Stuff-a-Bus effort, while most of the food items came from a food drive conducted by the Palmdale School District, Morales said.

“I think the community comes together for children,” she said. “It’s really important for children not to lose hope or faith that things will get better. They don’t need to know how hard things can be sometimes.”

Several recipients picking up their baskets and  gift bags Tuesday morning said they were extremely thankful.

“My income is nothing this year, so I really really appreciate this,” said Denise Brandon.

Palmdale resident Pam Boyd said she would be “fasting and praying” this holiday season, if not for SAVES.

“There’s a lot of us out here that need help, that are struggling with the kids, and we’re all laid off work,” said Boyd, as she picked up a basket for her family of five.  “This is wonderful.”

  9 comments for “SAVES sets record with December Holiday Baskets

  1. dumbandblind
    December 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    The real families in need are the 1,500+ losing their homes today. See for yourself. Go to zillow and log in for the list.

    • Palmdale_Steve
      December 20, 2012 at 10:01 am


      Yes home foreclosure is bad for sure, but as the Art Linkletter used to say, “What’s the rest of the story?”

      Divorce ?
      Job Loss ?
      People who used liar loans to buy too more house than they really could afford?
      People who had more than one house and were playing the “flip” game?
      People using homes for piggy banks to buy cars, vacations and other toys and the bill came due?

      Lots of stories behind the foreclosure of a home and I’m not all that thrilled as a tax payer with the Federal government bailing everyone out with my tax dollars, or building on the debt that my kids will be left to pay long after I am gone.

  2. diva
    December 18, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    That’s what I’m talking about. Mom has a Coach bag and is getting help. Hopefully she had a really good job at 1 time and could afford the expensive purse and this is only a temporary set back.

    • VWFish
      December 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

      i did see that as well…I know things are rough this year. Hell I was in sales and making 45-50G a year then went trucking (mistake!) making $40G…then..Fuel was $5 a gallon and when you get 175 gallons at a time that adds up so no miles run = no $ when you are paid $.33 per mile you drive, and you spend $15-$20 a day for food, and gone for 12-18 days at a time… NO THANX! I thank god that I wake up every morning, that I survived a rollover accident, and have my family to hug and kiss every day!

      At least until Dec 21, 2012 when the world blows up! LOL!

      • Gladys
        December 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        Go fish!

    • John Mlynar
      December 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Hi Diva:

      SAVES helps individuals and families who are experiencing a temporary emergency situation. Many people find themselves in tough situations if they’ve recently lost a job or have had other setbacks.

      There is a screening process for both the December holiday baskets and assistance in general from SAVES. Recipients must register in advance for the holiday baskets if they meet all the program requirements and provide the appropriate forms of identification and income verification.

      Program requirements include:

      o Minor dependents living in your household. Students enrolled in High school that are 18 years old need to provide school ID in order to qualify.
      o Current proof of income (within the past 30 days) for each member in household (work check stubs)
      o Notice of Action or Verification of Benefits
      o Last two unemployment payment stubs or current readout of benefits
      o Social Security/Disability annual statement of benefit letter (must show benefits effective January of the current year)
      o Previous year’s tax return
      o Income certification from SAVES

      o Proof of address, with one of the following:

       Current gas or electric bill in name of an adult living in household
       Rental/lease agreement

      o Valid identification for ALL adults in household: Valid photo ID & Social Security card OR valid passport

      o ONE of the following needed for ALL minor children in household :Birth certificate
       Picture school ID
       Medi-Cal card
       Valid passport

      Every effort is made to ensure that the baskets are distributed on a need basis.

      • justbeingreal
        December 19, 2012 at 10:14 am

        Do they have to prove citizenship ???? People on welfare get food stamps-EBT. they should be able to buy their own food.

        • Diva
          December 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

          I agree with justbeingreal.

          People in real need go to social services. They get more in food stamps than most families would spend when paying out of pocket. They also get cheap housing, free lunches, free medical and qualify for help paying their utilities. Some moms pretend they go to school(student loan scam), or have a job, creating paystubs so they also get free daycare with the provider splitting that with them.

          Tax time rolls around and they get earned income credit.

          Their kids qualify for scholarships due to “hardship” and get to go to summer camps and private schools for free. The kids carry cell phones or iphones and are most always, dressed in matching designer/name brand clothes. Fancy braided hair with or without extensions. Lots of these children and mothers have colorful bands on their braces, provided free thru their dental plan.

          I am not by any means saying the family in the picture doesn’t need the help. I am saying there is a large number of people in this comunity that work every angle they can to get every freebie the good people in this community offer.

          Teachers and neighbors would be a good place to get names of people who really need help.

          A good neighbor can usually spot a neighbor who needs help. All of a sudden the dad or mom doesn’t have their job anymore. They have to find a home for their pets because they can’t afford to feed them. They sell their car or it sits in the garage because they can’t afford the tags and insurance anymore. They have garage sales trying to make the house payment. Kids bike tires are flat and they can’t afford to fix them. The only thing in the childrens lunch is a sandwich. The little kids spend their play time, climbing trees and playing tag.

          That’s the family that needs help and they are too proud to ask.

          That’s what a needy family looks like.

      • Diva
        December 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        John, thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment. I do feel that your agency and most other social service giveaways are only given the information the “needy” people want you to have. You don’t have any way of knowing that the children actually live with those parents and whether or not there are 10 able bodied adults living under that roof but using other addresses for their benefits. I’m just saying. Fraud is alive and well, when it comes to handouts.

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