Helping those in need: Essential items given away for free in downtown Grass Valley |

Helping those in need: Essential items given away for free in downtown Grass Valley

A group of volunteers who wished to remain anonymous, helped to distribute free care packages of supplies ranging from toilet paper and sanitizer, to organic groceries Saturday at Dow Alexander Memorial Park. The group plans to continue with their free giveaways Saturdays from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.
Elias Funez/

What started in March as a way to help people in need during the pandemic has since evolved into a giveaway of essential supplies at downtown Grass Valley’s Dow Alexander Memorial Park.

“For about three months, we had 25 volunteers driving around and delivering to more than 200 people in the area,” volunteer Tor Erickson said. “A lot of people are trapped and not safe.”

Erickson, who runs Erickson Woodworking with his father on the San Juan Ridge, acknowledged local efforts from the food bank, but saw a disconnect between those efforts and people stuck at home during the pandemic.

“We saw a need to fill that gap between groups,” Erickson said.

Now the group hosts a table full of donated essential items to be given away to those in need, free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

People can drive in to the park’s parking stalls, or approach the table one at a time, while volunteers work to fulfill a person’s needs and place those items in their vehicles.

Items include toilet paper and other toiletries, organic and vegetarian bags of groceries, masks, bottles of sanitizer, food bags for those who can’t cook, and some essential oils, all made available during the Saturday giveaway.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email,, or call 530-477-4230.

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