Racheal MacLeod’s Christmas Dinner Box aims to feed 360 Juneau families

By Jasz Garrett

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – In the 1990s, Racheal MacLeod had a vision to help local families enjoy a special Christmas dinner gift. The program has become known as the Racheal MacLeod / Juneau Christmas Dinner Box Project.

After MacLeod’s passing in 2014, the community has come together to continue this much-needed service for local families who find themselves in need during this Christmas season.

As MacLeod’s annual tradition of distributing these gift-wrapped Christmas boxes grew, she found it helpful to collaborate with local agencies to help in the distribution of these boxes.

She would carefully wrap each box and lovingly fill it with a complete Christmas dinner for a Juneau family in need.

This eventually became a year-round project for MacLeod, her family, and friends who often helped her by either wrapping the boxes she stacked in her living room, donating monetarily, or filling the boxes.

Eventually, the program outgrew MacLeod’s living room and was moved to a larger venue where the program now serves approximately 360 families a year.

Many in the community have donated generously to ensure this tradition continues.

This year, the program is expected to serve about 360 families through the Racheal MacLeod / Juneau Christmas Dinner Box Project.

The Women of the Moose, Juneau Chapter 439 have jumped in again to help the volunteers fundraise and coordinate the delivery of the food.

The Thunder Mountain & Juneau Douglas High School Rotary Interact Clubs then supply the hands-on labor needed to pack these Christmas dinner boxes and get the job done.

A special thank you goes out to Super Bear & Foodland IGA for their ongoing discounts on food items.

Monetary donations are being sought to help meet the goal of rising food costs of over $18,000 that will be needed to purchase the food items.

Volunteer Hayden Garrison said last year the food bill was almost $19,000.

The 360 dinner boxes go out to help Juneau families.

Every $50 raised will secure another full Christmas Dinner for a family that would not otherwise be able to afford one.

Juneau’s local Salvation Army will again be managing the distribution of these boxes and handing them out to families on Dec. 16.

Donations can be accepted here.

Sign up to receive a Christmas Dinner box here.