2019 Food Drive Best Year Yet

Hope is everywhere this time of year, but nowhere do I see it more clearly than in our own riders. The Twin Transit team kicked off December with a “12 Days of Christmas Food Drive,” offering a free ride in exchange for a nonperishable food donation. It seemed like a good way to gather donations for a good cause and, as most canned goods are cheaper than daily fare, save our riders some money during the holiday season.

I never dreamed how generously our riders would respond. Although only one nonperishable food item was needed to ride, they showed up with bags full. Many donated even though they’d already purchased a monthly pass. Some donors are short on food themselves. Others donated even though they don’t have a place to call home. Their unconditional generosity is what this season is all about. It fills me with hope – that even in these darkest of winter months, together, we can turn on the light.

Holiday Lights Tour: A Feast for the Senses

The Holiday Lights Tour is a cherished tradition at Twin Transit. Here are a few highlights that illustrate why it is so beloved.

Twin Transit driver Peggy Haase has serenaded the Holiday Lights Tour for years. Her delightful accordion carols make this tour truly festive. We nabbed her for a quick sneak peak below:

The Holiday Lights Tour brings people of all demographics together to relish the spirit of the season. Impromptu singing is common, as are oohs and ahhs of delight.

Community Engagement Survey Results Are In!

Twin Transit spent the latter part of 2019 gathering feedback to help us evaluate and improve. This effort included two live Community Engagement Sessions on October 8th and 9th, online and paper surveys.

Now, the results are in! Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our questions and provide feedback.

These answers are essential in guiding our decisions moving forward into 2020 and beyond. There are some exciting developments on the horizon!

Free Shuttle to the Lighted Tractor Parade

Enjoy the Lighted Tractor Parade without the hassle of parking! Simply park your car at the Lewis County Mall and catch the festive Holiday Shuttle to the Twin Transit Office by the main parade route.

This free shuttle will start at 5:00 p.m. and offer service every 15 minutes until 8:30 p.m.

The Lighted Tractor Parade is one of Lewis County’s most highly anticipated events – and for good reason. Hop on the Holiday Shuttle and light up your Christmas Season with this sparkling local tradition! 

Chehalis Eagles Host Holiday Dinner for Displaced Families

Every year the Chehalis Eagles host a special holiday dinner for displaced children and families. We sat down with Diana Anderson, the event’s driving force, to discuss this remarkable tradition.

How did the Holiday Dinner for Displaced Children and Families begin?

This event started with a conversation between myself and Dr. Pope over cocktails at the Eagle’s in Chehalis six years ago. He asked me if I would help him put together a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless kids. Mind you, this was the week before Thanksgiving. I of course told him no; it couldn’t happen that quick. But what about next year? 

Then I went home and thought about it, called him up and said that if we put our heads together, we could put together something just before Christmas. After that, it was game on!

We got on the phones and gathered donations and volunteers. I cooked (with the help of a few people) 10 turkeys and 10 hams, 10 bags of giblet stuffing, and 100 lbs of potatoes. We made gravy from our stock, Apple Yams and Green Beans, all served along with an orange and rolls donated by Franz. Our first year we had only a few days of advertising. We served 98 people and donated the leftovers to the Mission.

What’s on the menu this year?

Turkey, ham, giblet dressing, vegetables, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls and a variety of deserts. During this event, we also have available for those that need it: blankets, hats, gloves, gently used coats and shoes, sometime clothes, hygiene products, etc. We also make sure every child gets a gift!

What is your favorite part of the event?

Seeing the true appreciation from those in need. I’ve had hugs from total strangers! Seeing a group of total strangers drop everything and come help. Making new friends and sharing a good time of giving.

I am so excited to help those that are just down on their luck! I spend a little time with the family members; kids first, adults second.

What have you learned along the way?

It’s not the kids’ fault to be where they are and it’s not always the parents’ fault either. It makes my day to make these families happy, if only for the day.

The mental health side has a couple of aspects. You have the kid that had controlled meds until they turned 18 and have no real guidance once they leave home.  They are now on their own. It’s sad, and I understand. They think they can control the world and they just become part of the system, leading to arrests and suicides. Then you have the side that has fallen through the gaps and are just trying to survive. 

Either way, they are a part of our lives. Many ignore, disregard, or just plain try to ignore them. It doesn’t help to do that. Give them a little attention, listen and help them if the opportunity is there. That’s what I do. And it makes me happy!

Why do you invest in this work?

If I can connect with one of these people and make them feel that they are important in this world, it makes me feel good. It’s only happened once and only lasted for a very short time. 

I am just a small business owner here in Lewis County. I have no real educational background, other than growing up and experiencing life, but I see every day as a perfect sunrise and tomorrow will always be a better day!

The Chehalis Eagles Holiday Dinner for Displaced Children and Families will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Chehalis Eagles Club, located at 1993 S. Market Blvd. in Chehalis. Dinner will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Twin Transit Route #12 will drop off and pick up from the Chehalis Eagles from 10:35 until 2:50, coinciding with their FREE service weekend.