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Weekend Drives Help Meet Area Needs
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The next two weekends will feature some special collections in the Escalon area.

Coming up on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, Escalon firefighters will be out in force at the city's main intersection, where Highway 120, Escalon-Bellota Road and McHenry Avenue converge. They will have their turnout boots in hand, seeking donations for the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento in the Fill The Boot program.

Hours of collection are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Farmington firefighters hosted their collection over the long Presidents' Day holiday weekend, while Escalon hosts theirs a little later in the spring. Donations are collected to help offer programs and services to burn victims and their families through the burn institute, including a summer camp for young burn victims.

Fire Chief Rick Mello said there should be more than two dozen reserve and volunteer firefighters, as well as paid staff, working the intersection throughout the weekend, with several teams of firefighters taking shifts for the collection.

When motorists drive through and make a donation, they are given a flier to place in their windshield to indicate they have given, so they aren't asked again the next time they come through. The event typically raises thousands of dollars.

Also, the Escalon postal carriers are gearing up for their annual 'Stamp Out Hunger' food drive, set for Saturday, May 12. They will be collecting non-perishable food items left at mailboxes, taking them to the local C.A.R.E. food cupboard. Patrons with mailboxes at the post office can bring items there to add to the effort.

C.A.R.E. is looking to get the shelves stocked in advance of summer vacation, when more families typically need help because children are out of school and not receiving the free or reduced price lunches on a daily basis at their school site.

Residents are asked to leave the non-perishable items in a bag by their mailbox for collection on Saturday, May 12.