The Keizer Network of Women (KNOW) Giving Baskets are being finished up next week and the push for volunteers is in high gear.

Sorting and boxing of food is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. A big gift wrapping party takes place at 5:30 p.m.on Thursday, Dec. 7, with the goal being to have the process completed that evening. Delivery will begin on Saturday, Dec. 9. Sorting and wrapping will take place at the old Roth’s location at 5303 River Road N. Participants in the wrapping party should bring along scissors, tape and gift wrap.

Carlos, Miriam and Damian Pineda help wrap gifts in 2016. (File)

Carlos, Miriam and Damian Pineda help wrap gifts in 2016. (File)

Coordinator Audrey Butler said the fundraiser hopes to help about 180 local families this year.

In addition to gifts, boxes of fresh food are also put together for the families.

“We are still waiting on one school, but we think we will be collecting gifts for about 400 children this year,” said Butler. Butler has led the former Keizer Chamber of Commerce program the past 10 years.

While the gifts and food boxes are handed out in December, the process starts each June, when school counselors in Keizer are notified and asked to start thinking of students who could use some gifts during the holidays.

By late October, Butler and the KNOW members are sorting through the requests and figuring out who gets what gifts. For a family with multiple children, care is taken to make sure each child gets an equal number of gifts.

Updates on needs and volunteer opportunities can be found on the KNOW Facebook page.

A dozen regulars help with the program, with 30 to 50 additional people usually coming to help during the busy week. All donations to the Giving Baskets are tax deductible through the Keizer Chamber Foundation.