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Local youth collecting donations for the needy

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Some of the community’s youngest citizens are stepping up to the plate to help needy families during the holiday season. Youngsters from Loomis Basin schools are filling Kids Can boxes with canned and non-perishable food. Donations will go to the Loomis Basin Christmas Basket program for distribution in December. Last week, Travis Doupnik spoke to sixth-grade students in Crystal Call’s classroom at Loomis Grammar School. “Even one can is awesome,” said the Del Oro High School student. Travis has taken on the food collection at schools as his senior project. “I’m doing the Loomis Basin Christmas Baskets to help families who need help over the holidays, so they can have a good meal, and, if they have kids, so they can have toys to give them,” Travis said. The 17-year-old said “It’s nice to help out,” but is also aware not everyone is as fortunate as he is. “My family … can have a good Christmas. We can afford to help other people. It’s something that should be done,” he said. Doupnik said he has delivered posters and collection boxes to all the schools in the Loomis Union School District, as well as to Del Oro and Rocklin high schools. The deadline to take donations to schools is Nov. 20. Sherrie Doupnik is one of the many Doupnik family members who help collect, store and distribute donations of food and toys for the Loomis Basin Christmas Basket program. She said her nephew Travis is the third Doupnik student at Del Oro to take on the annual Christmas Basket program as a senior project. The others were his cousins Cole in 2001, the first year the Doupnik family assumed chairmanship of the program, and Austin in 2007. Other Del Oro students have also chosen to devote their senior project to the program, she said. “We’ve had students who started the first year who continue to come back every year, because they consider it a good thing,” Sherrie Doupnik said. She expects a greater need by families this year. “We’ve just started taking applications in the last three weeks, and we already have close to 175 families,” she said. In 2008, over 320 families, including 600 children, were served. The Loomis Basin Christmas Basket program accepts applications from families living in Loomis, Penryn, Ophir, Newcastle and Rocklin. Applications are available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at Doupnik Manufacturing, 3237 Rippey Road, in Loomis. Donations of canned and non-perishable food, new toys and new gifts for teens, as well as cash donations, can also be delivered or mailed to Doupnik Manufacturing. When considering how to help, community members can take into account Travis Doupnik’s plea: “We have over 300 families to feed – every can counts