News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 18, 2012

Local plumbing company, United Way teaming up to distribute holiday hams

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute business is sharing its blessings with less fortunate families this year through a holiday ham giveaway on Friday morning.

On a first-come, first-served basis, B&S Plumbing and Heating is providing 150 free hams to be given to families to help with Christmas dinner. The giveaway begins at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Terre Haute Catholic Charities at 14th and Locust streets.

There is a limit of one ham per household, and residency must be proven through an ID card or utility bill.

B&S owner Sally Stewart, who also serves on the board of United Way of the Wabash Valley, said she and husband Bill were inspired to finance the ham project after volunteering at a Thanksgiving giveaway of 75 turkeys to needy families.

“We were at the Thanksgiving turkey giveaway,” she said, “and when we ran out of turkeys, and there were still people there hoping to get one, we felt so bad.”

Businessman Bob Baesler of Baesler’s Market agreed to provide the hams at his cost for the giveaway. The hams arrive in the store today, and will be delivered to Catholic Charities on Friday.

United Way executive director Troy Fears said the turkey giveaway was so popular, the dinner birds were distributed in about seven minutes. He expects the distribution to take no more than 30 minutes.

“We’re just blessed to have people like Sally who want to share and give back to the community,” Fears said on Monday.

Catholic Charities agency director John Etling agreed.

“For those of us who recognize that we’ve been blessed, it is a good time to help others who are not as fortunate,” Etling said of the holiday timing for the ham giveaway.

“More people are accessing food pantries and soup kitchens this year. Catholic Charities has added seven different organizations to our food banks this year, and all 90 are accessing food on a higher frequency and all report the number of people receiving food is increasing.”

Many people are finding themselves in an economic situation where they need help, he said, and that is evident at the third Saturday food distribution that occurs at Catholic Charities. From 150 to 250 line up for the monthly food giveaway.

“Sally has a huge heart,” Etling said. “Both she and Bill are very active in the community. This response is very typical of them. When something touches their hearts, sitting back and watching is not part of their make-up.”

Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank serves emergency food programs in Clay, Greene, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in west-central Indiana, distributing the equivalent of two million meals each year to more than 32,000 people.

For more information about Catholic Charities, go online to www.CatholicCharitiesTerreHaute.org.

To learn more about the United Way of the Wabash Valley, go online to www.uwwv.org.