---- — Dear Editor:
It is a pleasure to write to express my deep and sincere thanks to the scores of volunteers who worked so very hard to make the recent Christmas Food Baskets program such a resounding success.
We also are profoundly grateful to more than 165 individuals, families, churches, businesses and charitable organizations who contributed more than $25,000 to make possible this important ministry of the Jefferson County Ministerial Association. Christmas Food Baskets is the Ministerial Association’s large program, this year delivering more than 31,000 pounds of food.
Christmas Food Baskets (originally known as Christmas for the Needy) began in the 1940’s as a project of the Downtown Business Association (later to become the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce); it was assumed by Jefferson County Ministerial Association in the 1980’s. Each year approximately 700 Jefferson County individuals and families receive a substantial Christmas food basket through this program.
We are thankful to: Jefferson County schools for their efforts in donating thousands of canned goods, Sun Container for the boxes in which the baskets were delivered, Mt. Vernon Township High School FFA and Student Council and Casey Jr. High Beta Club for assembling boxes and sorting canned goods, Nathaniel Groh and Americorps, Father Gene Tucker and Trinity Episcopal Church for hosting the sign-ups of recipients, Rev. Brad Henson, West Salem Trinity United Methodist Church, for coordinating the high school volunteers and the canned food collection in the county schools, the dozens of drivers and families who delivered the food baskets, Lowell and Jan Rose for recruiting the drivers and organizing the delivery routes, Kenny’s Trash Service for the use of a dumpster, Aldi’s for their cooperation and delivering the food to the Rolland Lewis Community Building, George Bryant and the staff of Parks and Recreation of the City of Mt. Vernon for their essential cooperation and assistance at the staging area, and to Black Equipment Co. and Chris Friar for driving the fork lift.
This massive project was successful because a virtual army of volunteers contributed and worked together in an outpouring of Christmas love to assist their fellow Jefferson County neighbors. We hear so much news from around the world and in our own country that causes discouragement. Now, we have a local event, Christmas Food Baskets, that brings pride to Jefferson County and to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.
Deepest thanks to all.
Randy Winn, Chairman
Christmas Food Baskets
Jefferson County Ministerial Association