This week marks the start of the Glory Hole’s annual Turkey Box giveaway for families in need this holiday season. Unfortunately, it also marks the first week families are turned away as community donations fall short.
“It’s pretty dire,” Mariya Lovishchuk, executive director of the Glory Hole, said. “I keep trying to tell myself that this happens every year and donations will come in at the last minute, but we are developing a long waiting list.”
Monday was the first day for the Turkey Box giveaway at the Glory Hole. Lovishchuk said 18 boxes were handed out and the list for families expecting to pick up a pre-packed family meal is approximately 150-names long, with several others on a waiting list.
Although volunteers were able to honor all the Monday pick-ups, it was only because Glory Hole executives went out to buy needed box supplies such as turkeys and pies using the organization’s funds. The group is already $90,000 under their spending goal for the year — with daily meals and housing assistance still in great demand — and Lovishchuk said she doesn’t see how they can go on without help from the community.
As of Tuesday, six turkeys, nine pies and one case of combined goods were in stock.
Referrals for needs in the community continue to come in as usual from the Juneau Senior Center, and this year new requests from Juneau Youth Services have arrived. Lovishchuk described the demand as overwhelming, but she said she doesn’t want to say no to anyone during this season of giving. Patrons of the Glory Hole who often turn to the organization in their time of need also look forward to this annual opportunity to give back with their volunteer services. It connects them to their community, Lovishchuk said.
“Our patrons assemble the boxes and bring out the boxes to the cars,” Lovishchuk said. “It’s a great time of the year for out patrons to give back to the community. It’s pretty nice, except they just need something to carry.”
Donated goods can be dropped off at the Glory Hole from 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily at 247 South Franklin St. Monetary donations can also be made at www.feedjuneau.org.
• Potatoes (instant or mashed)
• Canned Corn
• Canned Beans
• Canned or Fresh Fruit
• Cranberry Jelly
• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.