Dan and Britani Roy make a difference for Sacramento families

Created 12/21/2010 04:00 pm

Sacramento volunteers help Salvation Army help families 
By Loretta Kalb, Sacramento Bee

So he joined Monday in the effort with three friends and 11 family members.

As the cars rolled by and friends carted a box of food to each, Koppert, 21, talked about his need to participate.

"I came because I feel like it's the month of giving," said the Folsom Lake Community College student. "I do some good, make myself happy, and make others happy, put smiles on faces." He's been volunteering for this program since age 12, when a family member encouraged him to get involved.

About 150 volunteers from throughout the region were on hand. Some stood in the chill to carry the boxes of food that included frozen chickens, dry goods and ingredients for side dishes such as potatoes and stuffing.

Inside, where the bags of toys were lined neatly in rows, other volunteers checked for the basics: one main toy for each child, plus stocking stuffers, said Salvation Army spokesman Syd Fong.

In addition to the thousands of families expected to show up Monday, the Salvation Army is providing food and toys to the California Highway Patrol and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department for distribution to 1,650 more families.

"We are really trying to serve the neediest people of Sacramento County," said David G. Bentley, Sacramento County coordinator for the Salvation Army.

Eligible families must fall below certain income levels to qualify as recipients. Those who arrived at Cal Expo brought the necessary paperwork.

Among the recipients was Beth DeWitt of Sacramento, whose friends drove her to Cal Expo so she could collect the items that would make her holiday at home with grandsons ages 4 and 2 a little brighter. Without this event, said the woman, "It would just be a little harder."

It was that recognition of hardship and need that moved many volunteers.

"I think it's a good idea to help out people who don't have gifts or money to afford them," said 16-year-old Brandon Herron, a senior at Natomas High School.

Herron started volunteering four years ago via his involvement with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, he said. He said he hopes after college to go into law enforcement.

"I feel good helping people," Herron added. "It makes me feel grateful for what I have." 

It was Britani Roy's first time Monday volunteering for the annual Salvation Army event. The 16-year-old student at Woodcreek High School in Roseville was accompanying her father, Dan Roy, 44.

Together, they were checking bags for the needed assortment of toys and stocking stuffers. Being there was "cool," she said, and the extent of the need was eye-opening.

"It surprises me," Britani Roy said. "There are so many bags."


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Posted by: Robert Boucher on 12/21/2010
Excellent! Nice to see the next generation out there giving back.
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