OKANOGAN Components of the annual Omak-Okanogan Community Christmas Basket Program are coming together as volunteers plan for the annual giveaway for people in need.
As in past years, the program will include food for Christmas dinner, staples for the week, toys, warm hats and clothing.
Donations for the basket program will be accepted from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 16-20 at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Agriplex, 175 Rodeo Trail Road. Bulk donations will be assembled into baskets on those days.
Distribution will be at 8 a.m. Dec. 21.
The program, a joint project of the Omak Kiwanis Club and Omak-Okanogan Civic League, draws on a variety of businesses, clubs, school groups, churches and others.
Organizers have a goal of assembling at least 280 baskets, co-chairwoman Constanza Smith said.
School groups are jumping in to help.
In Omak, high school students are collecting non-perishable food and cash to support the basket program, teacher Randy Smith said.
Rewards will be offered for the food gathered, from a staff member getting a pie in the face to others getting their heads and facial hair shaved.
A rewards assembly is planned for 2 p.m. Friday in the school gym, 20 S. Cedar St.
In Okanogan, students are collecting money for the basket program, with the effort culminating in the annual Polar Plunge. The more money raised, the more people will plunge, from students to staff and a school board member, sophomore Laura Brown said.
The plunge is set for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 20 on the football field.
Each Christmas basket will contain a holiday meal and