LANCASTER – Volunteers on Saturday served a holiday feast to more than 1,000 attendees and Santa gave out toys and bicycles at a free community event hosted by the University of Antelope Valley.
The 10th annual “Caring for the Community” event took place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at UAV’s Sierra campus.
Attendees enjoyed a free holiday meal that included ham, turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, salads and several desserts, prepared by UAV’s culinary students and instructors.
Santa and his helpers distributed toys and bicycles to hundreds of children, took photos and shared hugs. Helpers also distributed nonperishable foods and warm clothing, including coats, blankets, hats, gloves, socks, shoes, pants, dresses and disposable diapers.
Organizers said the event was a success thanks to its many volunteers and donors. The AV Sheriff’s Boosters donated 151 bicycles; University Foods donated 600 pounds of ham, and the Antelope Valley Partners for Health’s mobile unit donated flu shots and health screenings. Organizers also received truckloads of warm clothing, collected at local McDonald’s and Broken Bit restaurants.
UAV hosted its first Caring for the Community event in 2007, serving dinner to about 20 to 30 people. The event has since evolved into a dinner service, toy, food and clothing distribution event that serves more than 1000 residents in need.
“The philanthropic work is for the benefit and goodwill of citizens of Lancaster, Palmdale and the entire AV,” stated Marvin Crist, Lancaster city council member and AV Sheriff’s Boosters president. “It is rewarding to have an institution such as UAV to facilitate this day of charity that emphasizes the ideology that, ‘it is our duty to give back.’”
[Information via news release from University of Antelope Valley.]