Lifestyle

Help spread cheer with Virtual Aid Drive 2.0

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HolidayFoodDrive2009As the holidays approach, so come the traditional feasts we all love and look forward to. Yet for the thousands of San Diegans without shelter, sustenance nor savings, the thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas is just another nasty reminder of their suffering.

Thankfully, the city is booming with charitable organizations that sponsor penny-pinched families through toy drives, soup kitchens and food banks to soften the scarcities the waning year brings to surface.

If you and your life is anything like mine – an existence based on fast food, microwavable dinners and the occasional carne asada burrito – contributing to food banks is not as simple as it may seem.

I myself do not have a cabinet filled with canned food, and while I sincerely want to donate to my local grocery’s food bank fundraiser – actually getting off my laptop to actualize my good intensions – is never accomplished.

But this year, with the state of the economy causing even more families to feel the brunt of a broken bank account, I am refusing to make excuses for my selfish behavior.  Luckily for me – and you – this year the charities are meeting us halfway.

The San Diego Food Bank has begun its annual Holiday Food Drive and is open to donations till December 31st. SDFB relies solely on residents in the community to distribute delicious meals to its 380 partner charities, which include churches, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, low-income daycare centers, rehabilitation programs and senior centers. While we still have the option of dumping non-perishables in those red plastic bins, we also have the option of aiding SDFB online.

Through the Virtual Aid Drive 2.0, SDFB has created a user-friendly, tech-savvy approach helping those in need. With a click of a button you can choose to donate a can or cans of everything from green beans to fruit cocktail, macaroni & cheese to 100% juice boxes. The site even allows for $20 and $50 packaged donations with a corresponding quantity box so you can donate a pretty sizeable present. For those into the interactive, pictures of available items can be clicked and dragged to your animated cart, while a talking guide audibly updates you on the purchase.

The benefit of Virtual Aid is that you will be able to donate the exact items SDFB needs. No more dusting off the unused, year-old cans of turkey gravy and diced tomatoes. Now you can enable SDFB to purchase the very foodstuffs necessary to make a mouth-watering meal.

A click of a button and a couple of dollars is all you need to help spread cheer this year. For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.sandiegofoodbank.org.

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