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Lyman Gilmore

Middle School
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Donation Day Parade

Donation Day Parade

Grass Valley, California

A Short History

In 1883 several of our local gold mines had to close, and many miners were out of work.  Lots of families had very little money so the Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society received many calls for help.  The Society was low on funds and had less than five dollars to give out.  Winter was coming and there was great concern!

A Grass Valley lady named Caroline Meade Hanson, who lived at the corner of Neal and School Street, was sick and spent much of her time sitting by the window of her home watching the school children walk by.  She knew about the problem and wrote to the newspaper suggesting that every school child bring one potato and one stick of wood to school on a certain day in December to help those in need.  The donation from each child would be small by together it would make a big difference in the lives of the families in Grass Valley.

So the custom of the Donation Day Parade started in 1883.  Now we have replaced the  potato and stick of wood with one can of food from each child.

This year, 2015, is the 132nd year of the parade.  The Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society uses the boys' and girls'' donated cans of food, as well as donated money from the community, to buy additional fresh food.  Many, many boxes are filled and more than one hundred families enjoy an abundant holiday meal.

The parade and the donations of food from the students show the spirit of giving to others during the holiday season.


Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society  P.O. Box 1132 Cedar Ridge, California 95924