• WHAT: Turkeys R Us to make sure 1,300 struggling families in Ripon, Lathrop, and Manteca have a holiday meal this Christmas.
• HOW TO HELP: Donations (make checks out to Turkeys R Us) can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker Crossroads offices at 319 Main Street near North Street in Manteca or 15810 S. Harlan Road in Lathrop or the Second Harvest Food Bank, 704 E. Industrial Park Drive in Manteca. If you want to donate a frozen turkey or ham, take it directly to the food bank
• MORE INFO: Call Crossroads Real Estate at 823-8141 or the food bank at 239-2091
It was in her role as Frances Stone in Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl movie that Jansen began to notice the parallels between the character she played – a young girl whose family was facing foreclosure – and what was happening to families on her own street.
The experience led her to conduct a food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank in order to help the less fortunate in the community.
And now that she has established herself as a singer and performer – making deep runs in the Manteca Idol competition for the last two years – Jansen is using her talent to help the food bank by selling a Christmas-themed CD as a fundraiser for the holiday season.
“It was something that I started when I really started getting serious at the home recording studio my dad built back in October,” Jansen said. “Christmas isn’t about getting – it’s about giving. Getting to bless somebody else with the gift that I’ve been given is really what Christmas is all about for me.”
Rather than opting for the traditional Christmas tunes that people are used to, Jansen chose three tracks by Gospel and Contemporary Christian artist Amy Grant – hoping to bring something different to the table.
Being homeschooled, Jansen has been able to spend time with her father working on the fine-tuning of the songs that make up “Merry Christmas With Love” in addition to taking care of her independent studies.
Her lofty goal of helping put Christmas meals on the table of families who can’t afford to on their own might seem a tad advanced for a 12-year-old, but Jansen couldn’t be more on the mark with the organization she’s trying to help.
According to volunteers for Turkeys R Us, current funding levels will only provide 400 birds for families with a seemingly unattainable goal of 1,300 still in place. Odds are future funds will end up going to purchase hams, which are cheaper than turkeys, to make sure that many families as possible are able to enjoy a Christmas dinner.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to enjoy a Christmas meal this year,” Jansen said. “Even though I don’t know what it’s like to go without, I do know that this is the time of year that people shouldn’t have to worry about that.”
Jansen hopes to raise $7,000 through the sales of the CD in order to ensure that all meal goals are met before Christmas comes in only nine days.
The $10 CD can be purchased through her web-site, www.brieannejansen.com, which features a PayPal link for shopping convenience. Jansen’s parents will gladly deliver local orders, and people can schedule this by e-mailing email@example.com.