Diane McCoy, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, shut the doors of the van that was overflowing with bags and cartons of gifts for the Club’s annual Adopt-a-Family Christmas drive, donated by the Ridge Tahoe EAGLES employees group. She went back inside to thank the donors, and found she had missed several more boxes full of cleaning supplies, pots and pans, dishes, laundry detergent and gift cards for local grocery stores.
McCoy stuffed them all inside the van and headed back to the Club where the gifts would be wrapped and distributed to the five families for which they were intended.
“When Diane explained the situations of some of the families, I hung up the phone in tears,” Dorrie Sweetwood, executive assistant for Resorts West, managers of the Ridge Tahoe resort atop Kingsbury Grade, said. “I’ve been in similar situations and it really struck me. The Boys & Girls Club does a lot of good for families in the community.”
Sweetwood said the company has over 250 employees from all walks of life from various departments at the resort, from housekeeping, engineering and maintenance to restaurant, market, sales and spa who donated to the Adopt-a-family program.
“The employees give what they can, and our management team provided cash for whatever didn’t get brought in,” she said. “We work for a really good company, and it’s from the top down. Our president donated a generous amount from his own pocket too. Giving is part of being a Ridge employee.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada has spearheaded the Adopt-a-Family program in Carson City and the Carson Valley for over 15 years, with McCoy at the helm for most of those years. The Club selects families from its membership to participate based on need. This year, the Club identified 13 families in the Carson Valley and 24 families in Carson City to be adopted for the holiday.
“The Ridge filled the van clear up to the front seat, everything from coats and clothes to cleaning supplies and toilet paper,” McCoy said.
This is the Ridge’s first year to give to the Adopt-a-Family program, having donated to other organizations in the past.
“We’ve donated to many different organizations before,” Sweetwood said. “The Adopt-a-Family program was fun for us because even though we haven’t met the families, we know their names and favorite colors. It really makes a difference to our employees to be able to do something like this.”
Jerry Massad, owner of the Cracker Box restaurant in Carson City, and his wait staff adopted a family of seven — a single mom with six kids ranging from 18 months to nine years old. Their goal is to buy each person two presents, a want and a need, Shiovhan McEver, a server at the Cracker Box said.
“The wait staff is pitching in a little from our tips every day and Jerry will match the contributions we make,” McEver said. “We all think it is exciting to help a family in need. We’re pretty grateful for what we have and to be able to give what we can, when we can. Jerry is very generous and likes to give back to the community, and we all want to contribute.”
Gifts will be distributed to families on Dec. 21. For more information on how to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program, email Diane McCoy at DianeM@bgcwn.org.