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Bridge Players Have Hearts for Kids

By Norma Black

Unit 461 in Northern California has a unique tradition of generosity. More than 20 years ago, we voted to make a holiday gift exchange into a helping hand for local needy elementary school kids. With the help of the school, and the permission of the parents, 11 of the neediest kids were given new warm clothing, toys and gift food certificates for their families’ holiday meal.

This was such a heartwarming success that it became an annual event. During the years that followed, we began having fund-raisers. They included cookbooks, luncheons, raffles, charity tournaments and more.

When we took on two other schools, we realized we would have to reach out to the community. Grass Valley CA and Nevada City CA responded, and we found many ready to help local needy kids.

We named ourselves Bridge Players Have Hearts For Kids, and dreamed up new ways to raise funds. Garage sales were a great source, as were silent auctions, raffles, wine tastings and barbecue dinners. Last year, amazingly, we helped 66 needy elementary school kids!

Our events have been covered by our local newspaper several times, and the appreciation of the community is gratifying. But the gratitude of the kids and their parents is what helps make our holidays bright. Our scrapbook is filled with thank you notes from parents, children and schools. One sentence from a mother's letter says it all: “Thank you, bridge players, for touching so many families like ours with your giving hearts.” It has been our pleasure.