ONTARIO — With the start of the holiday season coming up, Help Them To Hope’s annual holiday charity drive just got its storage space.

According to an email from committee secretary Delilah Canas on Saturday morning, HTTH made a deal with the Surmeier family for a 26,000 square foot facility near Palisades Junction on SW 1st Avenue.

According to Steve Dominguez, the Surmeier family is donating half the cost of the rent for the facility as HTTH pays the other half. And with 26,000 square feet, Dominguez said the facility is large enough to accommodate everything HTTH needs.

Since a storage facility was found, the Food Committee meeting that was previously scheduled for Monday is now cancelled, as there is no need for a plan B, Canas said in her email.

The next HTTH meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be in the first week of November.

The previously donated storage space that HTTH had been using had to be vacated to make way for commerce.

The HTTH annual collection drive will start at the beginning of November.

Help Them to Hope provides food and a variety of items during the Christmas season to hundreds of people around the three-county area of Malheur, Payette and Washington. Some people in Canyon County also received assistance.

In 2018, more than 2,000 local families were served through the annual charity drive. In addition to those who received the food boxes, several people received food in the form of turkey dinners or fruit baskets, and some people received clothes or gifts, too.

More than 562 area families received food boxes and 57 fruit baskets were distributed through Malheur Council on Aging to Meals on Wheels recipients. In addition, 99 nursing home residents received gifts from Help Them To Hope and WICAP, with the closure of Treasure Valley Love INC, and distributed donated clothing to 279 individuals, representing 64 families.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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