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Making Spirits Bright Event Serves Needy Families for the 23nd Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

What is Making Spirits Bright?

Making Spirits Bright is an annual event coordinated by Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Youth Services and various partners that will provide holiday cheer for 30 low-income families, including over 150 children. The location changes annually as each year a new Fresno County elementary school is selected as the hosting site. Lowell Elementary School has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Making Spirits Bright event.

Families will receive a warm festive meal, gifts, stockings, a Christmas tree and an opportunity to visit and take photos with Santa. Sanctuary’s Making Spirits Bright event brings together Fresno’s businesses and community groups working together to serve others.

Our 2016 partners include: PG&E, Macy’s Fashion Fair and River Park, USDA Forest Service-Sierra National Forest, London Properties, and Anthem Blue Cross of California.

Since 1993, Making Spirits Bright has reached 660 families, including 2,200 children residing in Fresno County. In 2016, The Making Spirits Bright Committee was recognized as Volunteer Business Organization of the Year by Hands On Central California.

Contact Information: Volunteers may contact Joe Martinez, Sanctuary and Youth Services Community Relations & Outreach Manager at (559) 498-8543 ext 103 or by email at weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. To make an online donation visit:

Want to Donate Your Time?

Holiday Volunteers Needed! Most volunteer services will occur the day before or the day of the event.

  • Stocking Stuffers – 125 hand-crafted stockings from holiday felt need to be filled by generous individuals for needy and deserving toddlers and teens.
  • Decorators – Local “Martha Stewarts” are needed to transform a school cafeteria into a Winter Wonderland the day before the event.  Volunteers are encouraged to donate Christmas decorations for the event. Table settings, table linen, and holiday ornaments and lights are in big demand.
  • Door Greeters – Greet each family with a smile and handshake, present a Christmas Program, direct traffic, and answer general questions about the program. Bilingual (Spanish/English) volunteers are needed.
  • Host/Hostess – Assist families to a table, provide courteous and polite service, bring meals and drinks to each family member, and engage in conversation with families at assigned tables.
  • Entertainers – Provide holiday entertainment for guests. Suggestions: a Christmas ensemble/band, Christmas carolers, storytelling, piano player, or cultural dancers or musicians.
  • Meal Preparers – Help in the meal preparation; carving turkeys, warming rolls, preparing salad, and serving dessert.
  • Christmas Tree & Stand Helpers – Help is needed to trim trees, place trees in stands, and to provide tree stands for 30 Christmas trees that will be donated to families in attendance.

Want to Donate Items?

Here is our Holiday Wish List:

Food Items

  • 30 Boxes of instant potatoes in bulk size (20-25 servings per box)
  • Large Cans of ready to serve Brown Gravy (for 300 servings)
  • 300-350 soft dinner rolls
  • 15 cartons of pre-made/ ready-to-serve Potato Salad
  • Large Cans of Corn (for 300 servings)
  • 12 full sheet cakes in assorted flavors including, chocolate, vanilla or carrot
  • 700 bottled waters in small and large sizes
  • Raisins (300 small boxes)
  • Oranges (300 quantity)
  • Paper Products (300 count)
  • Plastic utensils including forks, spoons and knives
  • Large 12’’ paper plates in heavy weight stock
  • Small 8” dessert plates in heavy weight stock
  • Small 8 ounces plastic cups
  • Holiday theme napkins in either white, red or green

Christmas Tree Items

  • 60 boxes Christmas tree ornaments
  • 60 boxes of Christmas lights
  • 60 packages of red bows (8 count per pack or more) for Christmas trees
  • 30 small Christmas trees
  • 30 Christmas tree stands
  • Candy Canes in 300-500 qty
  • 20 Poinsettia plants or table centerpieces with holiday theme

Other Items

  • Photographer wanted for three hours
  • 35 Prepackaged Christmas Photo Frames


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