Holiday market bolsters backpack program which helps local children

Cheryl Farley, a certified nursing assistant at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario – who collects blankets, toys, clothes, and other items to later distribute to kids in need in time for Christmas – talks about some of the new items she has received in November of 2017.

ONTARIO — Emily Chase of the Oregon Natural Market knows about how to bring the holidays to town and benefit a charitable cause all at the same time. “Miracle on Oregon Street” is a first-time event being hosted by the market, along with Jolts and Juice Company and People’s Furniture on Saturday.

Chase explains that she “drew inspiration” for the event from Lisa Peterson, owner of A’tavola in Boise, who hosts an annual holiday event that is open to the public. Chase said that she “wanted to replicate the warm holiday spirit, but include our own touches to make a classy event special to Ontario.”

Admission to the event is $5, with each dollar of the entrance fee going directly to the Backpacks for Christmas program. Tickets will be available for purchase in advance or from any of the sponsoring businesses. The backpack program is an effort to get backpacks filled with warm clothing and toys from Santa to the children whose families may not have the means to purchase these items otherwise. The program started in Ontario with the work of Cheryl Farley, a local woman with a vision for helping underserved youth. Since 2016, the program has expanded its reach beyond just the Ontario area to encompass a greater portion of the Western Treasure Valley.

Chase told the Argus that this event is a collaboration with the Jolts and Juice Company and Sally Frye with Peoples Furniture. She said this event can be considered “somewhat of a holiday pop-up,” with Jolts’ downtown location as the central hub. Doors will be open there from 4 to 8 p.m.

Attendees can also stroll between businesses along Oregon Street in the downtown corridor to shop, while supporting a good cause.

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