PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – North of Oregon’s capital sits the Salem metro area community of Keizer, a city that prides itself of volunteerism. With the holidays in full swing, the City of Keizer is encouraging community members to help those in need.

As the city lights up with holiday decorations, Keizer’s Chamber of Commerce held its Giving Basket program, through the Keizer Network of Women group. According to Keizer Mayor Cathy Clark, the program helped serve 300 local families with food and gifts for the holidays.

In addition to the Giving Basket program, the city offers other ways for the community to take part in this spirit of giving with the Miracle of Christmas light show in the Gubser neighborhood. Clark said she encourages community members to give to the Marion-Polk food share at the holiday event — providing food to community members in need throughout the year.

The community also recently gathered to celebrate the city’s Festival of Lights parade along River Road, featuring floats and performances from local school bands.

“All the floats remembered my instructions: If you want to win a trophy, light it up and crank it up…they really turned out in force,” Clark said.

The mayor also said she encourages community members to give to those facing homelessness amid the statewide crisis.

“We really encourage people to make sure as they’re giving this season, give to your local service providers so that they can meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in a really meaningful and sustained way,” Clark said.

The mayor added “a lot of us are really thinking about our friends and neighbors throughout our community, especially this time of year. And we want to make sure people have access to safety, security, sanitation and sustainable services. So, the mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance is our two-county continuum of care.”

“In the metro area, you have other continuum of care which works to bring together government, service providers, shelter, all working together to take care of people in our community,” Clark explained.

In addition to efforts towards alleviating the homeless crisis, the mayor also highlighted the chamber’s partnership with the Oregon Recovery Center.

“Like the homeless alliance, our chamber knows that to be strong, we have to work across our region, and we work very hard to make sure we’re partnering for long-term success,” the mayor said. “So, when the opportunity came for our chamber to be part of the Business Recovery Center — to help equip our businesses as they leave the chaos of COVID behind, and really try to put their businesses together either as a startup or recovery for long-term success — they’re working with other chambers of commerce, provide classes, funding, long-term support for our local businesses.”