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STEAC holiday program volunteer holding up a blanket


STEAC’s Holiday Program sets new record

STEAC, the Short Term Emergency Aid Committee, brought the spirit of the season to 476 households through its 54th Annual Holiday Program.

Special to The Enterprise, December 28, 2021

STEAC, the Short Term Emergency Aid Committee, brought the spirit of the season to 476 households through its 54th Annual Holiday Program. On a bright and sunny Saturday, December 11th, 2021, pre-qualified recipients lined up in their cars at the First Baptist Church of Davis for a drive-through distribution of hand-selected food and gifts donated by Davis families, groups, and individuals who “adopted” them for the holidays.

“It took us four days to fill the church with donations, and four hours to empty it,” said Kelly Coleman, Chair of the STEAC Holiday Program. “We began receiving donations on Tuesday, and held a one-day Distribution Event on Saturday.”

While COVID has had an impact on everyone’s lives and livelihoods, for some, this pandemic has deepened hardships they were already facing, while others are struggling with new challenges or experiencing poverty for the first time. STEAC is thankful to the generous adopters who donated food, gifts, and money to make the holidays special for each low-income family who applied and were accepted into the program.

There are so many organizations and individuals to thank for their contributions for what is really a huge community effort.

STEAC is grateful to the staff and congregation of the First Baptist Church of Davis, who donated their facilities and grounds for an entire week to host STEAC Holiday Program volunteers as they collected and then distributed food and gifts. As well, the Lutheran Church of Davis kindly donated their classrooms for client qualification interviews in November.

Adopted families in the STEAC Holiday Program also benefitted from the generous donations of gift cards from St. James Church parishioners and from the Salvation Army of Davis.

One of the extra special donations this year was the over 400 hand-made blankets donated by the Blanketeers of the Project Linus of Yolo County Chapter, led by Diane McGee.

Davis community members Mel Russell and Steve Shaffer contributed to the festive atmosphere with decorations and music, while Santa Claus (Erik Gaumer) handed children special “Santa Cat” gift bags that were assembled with loving care and donated by Jeanette Lamar.

Elmo Bermudo, Store Manager at The Home Depot in Woodland, donated two Christmas trees with lights which provided décor during the whole week, and then were delivered to two lucky raffle winners at the end of the Distribution Day.

A big thank you also goes out to the Davis Enterprise for being so responsive, publishing articles and supporting STEAC throughout the year.

One of the important ways that the STEAC Holiday Program is able to serve Davis residents in need is through its partnerships with local agencies. STEAC is thankful to have worked with JiaJia Zhao at Empower Yolo, Harmony Scopazzi, Becky Morigo, Synda Whitmer, and Kelly McGurran at Davis Community Meals and Housing, Jeni Price at NAMI, Rachel Nervo at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Tiffany Cruz at Summer House, Shelley Arizaga at Heart of Davis, and Yvonne Page at Davis Respite Center.

Many individuals, families, groups and organizations banded together to support STEAC or adopt one of the 476 low-income individuals and families. In addition to the adopters, the 125-plus volunteers invested their time and energy into distributing flyers, interviewing clients, setting up and cleaning up the church, collecting food and gift donations, preparing for distribution day, and then working to distribute all food and gifts.

None of this is possible without the support of the Davis community and their generous commitment year after year to bringing holiday joy to those facing hardships. After the flurry of the holidays settles down, the STEAC office reaches out to hundreds of Yolo County residents, providing help with rental and bill-pay assistance, work and interview outfits, books for low-income community college students, job training, food pantry, food packs for kids, and more. For more information about STEAC and its programs, go to

Link to online article in The Enterprise

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