More than 500 Christmas baskets distributed
by Mark Ledbetter
SYLACAUGA — The Care House distributed more than 500 Christmas baskets Tuesday morning as clients and volunteers braved cold weather to participate in the annual event.

People lined up outside the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church before 9 a.m. to receive canned goods and turkeys as they passed through the fellowship hall.

Clients were greeted by volunteers, including Veronica Dunkin and Doug Foster, who have volunteered for the event since 2009.

Both retirees said they enjoyed getting out and helping those in need and enjoyed the fellowship of others.

On hand to assist with carrying packages were Knollwood Christian School students. Knollwood head master Larry Jones said the students assisted by carrying one or two packages and carrying the turkeys.

Home educators and their students helped out, too. Leona Baker said she wanted her sons to learn a good work ethic, how to follow instructions, and to learn a servant’s heart.

Dawn Pomeroy said she wanted her students to learn the importance of giving back to the community.

Robin Owsley said she wanted her sons to know that they are blessed and are just one step away from needing help. “Everyone needs help, a hand up,” Owsley said.

Care House director Earl Lewis said he appreciates First Presbyterian for their support and generous use of their facilities.

“The event has been a success,” Lewis said, “primarily because of the donations and the 100 or so volunteers the last three days.”

The event received donations from individuals and local businesses, and benefited from a concert that required canned goods for admission.

Clients had to register and their applications had to be screened. It took two sessions to pack the goods to be distributed.

“It’s one of those jobs that can’t be done by yourself or a small group,” Lewis said. “It takes a lot of people. I wish I could name them all.”

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© 2012