Every year we help pack boxes for needy families in our area through the benevolence of the local Elks Lodge. This year - understandably - there's been a sharp rise in the number of requests for boxes (unemployment in our county hovers around 20%). This morning after church we went to help wrap presents, but found to our astonishment that everything had already been done.
Turns out there was a huge number of volunteers - around a hundred or so - who descended on the Elks during church hours and got everything finished. While our kids were disappointed that their yearly tradition of helping out was done before they could do anything, we all were impressed that so many were willing to pitch in and make it happen.
A lady named Adie (the blond woman on the right) is the one who organizes the whole thing. She's a wonderful example of the kind of minor miracle makers who reside across our country. With her are some of the volunteers who wrapped presents and packed boxes.
The boxes all laid out and filled with food (each family gets two boxes).
A list of dry foods that go into the boxes: Oatmeal, sugar, flour, stuffing, noodles, cranberry sauce, rice, pancake mix, noodle soup, peanut butter, ketchup, tomato soup, corn, green beans, sweet peas, fruit cocktail, applesauce, peaches, evaporated milk. What's not listed are the frozen or perishable foods that will also be included: frozen turkeys, frozen chickens, and frozen potatoes. Then each box will be given to a family along with gifts according to the number, ages, and genders of the kids in the families. There are also toiletries and knickknack gifts for the elderly since, after all, it's just nice to have something - however small - to open on Christmas morning, don't you agree?
Children's presents are wrapped and grouped according to age and gender.
This is the boy's side of the hall.
This is the girl's side.
Some of the leftover food, either purchased or donated by area grocery stores. This will all be given to the local food bank.
While it's sad to have so many needy families in a community as small as ours, I'm proud of this town for rallying together to help those who need help.