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Mizell family honored as Volunteers of the Month for holiday food and toy drive
MARYSVILLE — Tara and Jim Mizell and their family were recently honored as city of Marysville Volunteers of the Month for guiding the annual holiday food and toy drive that supports clients of the Marysville Community Food Bank.
The Mizell family, including college-age daughters Peyton and Kayley, coordinated the All-City Food Drive on Nov. 2, a one-day annual event that officially kicks off the holiday season of giving in Marysville.
They worked with several volunteers and participating grocers to collect donations, staff the red holiday food barrels at store entrances seeking donations of food and toys, and deliver donations to the food bank. Through their combined hard work and dedication, the food and toy drive generated 6,000 pounds of food and $1,300 in contributions.
By the time the holidays arrive, it is not uncommon for the food and toy drive to garner 43 tons of food donations, assist more than 1,200 families through the distribution of holiday food baskets, and put smiles on the faces of 1,100 children in need who receive a toy or gift card.
"While the Mizells serve the community in many different ways, it's the food and toy drive that fills their hearts most at this time of year, for the lives their effort touches," Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said of the family.
In preparation for the food and toy drive, the family spends early mornings and late evenings attending planning meetings, and coordinating various programs and events dedicated to serving others.
The Mizells have been strong supporters of the Lakewood School District over the past 15 years, co-managing its PTSA and Booster clubs, and assisting with its levy and bond campaigns. On average, they give 30-40 hours per month of their time.
Jim is a firefighter for the Marysville Fire District, while Tara works as the city of Marysville's Parks and Recreation services manager. Elder daughter Peyton is a graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., while Kayley is an education major at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
The Mizells are quick to share credit with their co-volunteers in what is a successful team effort.
"We truly admire and are grateful for the Mizell family's commitment to volunteerism," Nehring said.
Those who wish to donate should look for the red giving barrels at more than 60 participating locations in the Marysville community.
People can also take donated non-perishable food items, unused toys, stocking stuffers, cash cards, candy and wrapping materials to the Marysville Community Food Bank, located at 4150 88th St. NE, behind St. Mary's Church, from 8 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m.