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Quincy brothers Tysen McGirr, 13, and Skylar Dillard, 8, have launched their second “Kids Helping Kids” campaign to benefit the Community Action Network food banks program in Plumas County. They are collecting Safeway Monopoly tickets to redeem for free food that will be donated to CAN for local families. Photo by Roni Java

Brothers launch Safeway Monopoly drive to benefit area food banks

Two Quincy brothers who worry about people having enough to eat opened 2,400 Safeway Monopoly game tickets and tallied them by hand last year searching for free food items they could collect and donate to the local Community Action Network (CAN) food banks program.

Tysen McGirr, 13, and his little brother Skylar Dillard, 8, are at it again with this year’s contest off and running and the Monopoly phone app to help them.

They hope to double or triple the number of game-piece tickets they collect and food donations they can make. And they need your help, please.

Even if you’re not playing the popular grocery store sweepstakes, you can save and donate tickets from your purchases.

“We’re doing this to help the hungry because no one should go to bed hungry,” Skylar said, meeting up with a reporter at the Quincy Safeway parking lot on Main Street.

Barbara Gonzalez of Meadow Valley is helping her grandsons with their philanthropic enterprise.

“We welcome people’s extra tickets because they have a lot of free food items on there, from salt to canned vegetables and a lot more, so if you don’t need them, chances are someone else does,” she said.

The young fellows call their food drive “Kids Helping Kids.” Tysen is logging the tickets with the phone app and they’re both opening tickets as they come in.

“I think Skylar has already opened 300 to 400 pieces,” Gonzalez said, adding the boys are making this year’s effort even easier to join.

Collection jars with a “Kids Helping Kids — Safeway tickets” message on them are being placed around town at local businesses and the family is seeking permission for jars at schools, Safeway and other locations.

Social media is helping a lot. Tysen and Skylar are also happy to receive donated game pieces, opened or not, at their grandmother’s mailing address in Meadow Valley and they have family as far away as Idaho collecting tickets and sending them here. Some Washington State and Redding relatives are also saving tickets.

Gonzalez explained that a group in Greenville is pooling their tickets and she and the boys will drive out to pick those up. They accept game pieces that are already opened or not.

Tysen is an eighth-grade student at Quincy Junior-Senior High School and Skylar attends third grade at the Plumas Charter School. They began the campaign last year after watching a documentary about children starving in Ethiopia and seeing people discard Monopoly tickets here in Plumas County.

The boys thought there might be local families and children who don’t always have enough to eat and the free food coupons inside the game pieces could help others.

Last year, the boys netted an entire grocery cart piled with bread, canned goods, pasta and much more that they proudly presented to Kitty Gay with the Community Action Network.

This year, they encourage anyone who wants to play the sweepstakes to keep that half of the game pieces for their own participation.

“Please go ahead and keep any of the coupons and game pieces you want to,” Gonzalez explained. “Maybe you’ll get three coupons for something and only need one. We can use the others.”

The family is not playing the game itself; they are only collecting the half-portion of each ticket printed with free food coupons or dollars-off incentives for food purchases.

Those tickets will be redeemed and the food items donated to CAN to benefit local families.

With handfuls of tickets to log into the phone app, the young men stopped for a photo outside the store and expressed their appreciation for the generosity of Plumas County shoppers who are helping them hold this special food drive. Every ticket counts, “Thank you,” they said.

‘Kids Helping Kids’ Food Drive with Safeway Monopoly Game

Mail ticket stubs to:

Kids Helping Kids

PO Box 420

Meadow Valley CA 95956

Or look for collection jars near you.

Current locations include:

Grandma Jane’s Place

446 Main Street, Quincy

East Quincy Barber Company

2011 East Main Street

Schools and other locations

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