The Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort was started in 1948 by some of the teachers and principals in the Ukiah Valley School District (Jack Simpson, Bob Cannon and other school personnel), because of a letter the school nurse received from a concerned parent and her concern of the children's health in our area. They saw that some of the children woudlnt have a good Christmas because they were just too poor and needy. So the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort goes to merchanges and families in the greater Ukiah area to get donations of food, clothes and presents for the children to give to the needy families in the area. Shirley Grover changed it to its own organization with its own bank account, she also changed it making it an official government authorized non profit assiociation with board members. This meant that no one gets any money or gratuity for anything that is done.
Christmas Eve morning at 6:00am perishables get packed and get ready for deliveries at about 8:00am. All boxes are delivered or picked up on the 24th of December until 5:00pm. Covering the greater Ukiah area, Hopland, The Forks, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley and Talmage, in 2011 754 families were served or about 3,000 children wiht a budget of $30,000 dollars.
The public is the most important part in that the public is needed to donate money, food, toys and time. Donations are collected year-round and stored to be used on the final weeks of the Effort.
The magic happens the two weeks before Christmas. Volunteer Elves assemble gift baskets for delivery. Help is always needed and one does not have to stay all day. Come volunteer wherever you like and stay as long as you can. Any help given to The Effort is greatly appreciated!