This is it, the last chance to prepare for Santa’s big day! Each of us probably still has a mile-long list of things to do, and as you know, local stores are extra busy during these final days before Christmas.
Unfortunately, our crazy, distracted holiday frenzy often allows local criminals to check things off their lists, too, things that may include stealing our belongings.
In our rush to finish last-minute errands, we often provide criminals with opportunities to commit crimes such as car burglaries, package thefts, shoplifting, and snatching purses from shopping carts–just to name a few.
So please, while you’re out shopping, follow these safety tips:
Always lock your car.
Keep your packages out of sight or in the trunk.
Never walk away from a purse, wallet or valuables in a shopping cart.
Be aware of who’s around you while you shop.
Don’t let mail order packages sit by your front door; instead, send them to your work address or have a neighbor pick them up for you.
Report suspicious activity–that helps us keep everyone safe.
The holidays should be a time of giving and gratitude for all we have in our lives. The last thing we need is to become the victim of a crime, so please take a moment to protect yourself while you’re out spending your hard-earned dollars.
Speaking of hard-earned dollars, if you want to use them to give a little something back to the community, this is the last chance to do so before Christmas.
For weeks now, I’ve talked about wonderful local organizations like the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort, the Ukiah Food Bank, and Plowshares—organizations that support our community year-round. I hope you’ll consider volunteering or giving a little money to these wonderful organizations.
The organization that needs help most urgently in these final few days before Christmas is the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort. This wonderful organization of volunteers comes together each winter, specifically to help make the season a bit brighter for needy families by delivering toys and a nutritious holiday meal to them on Christmas Eve.
Any help you can provide right now will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal. If you’d like to get out there and volunteer, Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort volunteers can always use extra help delivering their carefully prepared packages on Christmas Eve morning. If you’d rather make a financial donation, please send a check to the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort at P.O. Box 801, Ukiah, CA 95482. Have questions? Contact the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort through their Facebook page or by getting in touch with President Sheryl Graves at (707) 272-9627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another great place to donate is to the Ukiah Food Bank, which provides food to local families now and throughout the year. The Ukiah Daily Journal is in the midst of its annual fund drive to raise money for the Food Bank. This annual drive helps provide the funding and resources needed to provide food to those who would otherwise go hungry in the Ukiah area. To donate, write a check to the Ukiah Food Bank and mail it (or drop it off) to the Ukiah Daily Journal Office at 617 S. State Street.
Finally, as I have mentioned in the past, Plowshares offers hot meals each day at 1346 South State Street, and they need our help. Contributions help provide meals at their South State Street location and via the Meals on Wheels program that takes food to home-bound seniors. Learn more by calling 462-8582 or visiting www.plowsharesfeeds.org.
Helping others in our community helps all of us. It really is the best Christmas present we could ever give.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.