On Christmas Eve, the Tribune-Star, its partners and volunteers will deliver 600 food baskets to families who could use a hand this holiday season.
To reach that goal, the newspaper hopes to raise $20,000 for its annual Christmas Basket Fund drive, which starts today. As usual, lists of donors names and donation amounts will be published on the front page of the newspaper daily, with the exception of those who request anonymity.
The food baskets distributed the morning of Christmas Eve include ham, vegetables, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, fruits, breads, noodles, pie and milk. The Salvation Army provides the Tribune-Star with a list of recipients.
Partners include Baesler’s Market, B&B Foods, Indiana State University and Terre Haute North Vigo High School ROTC. Baesler’s provides food for the baskets at cost, while B&B provides a refrigerated truck. Indiana State provides space where the bulk food can be received and sorted into baskets, with the student’s from North’s ROTC program helping with that task.
“The Salvation Army tells us there is a tremendous need this year,” said Kim Wilkerson of the Tribune-Star’s business office, one of the annual drive’s main organizers.
“We want to help as many people as possible, and we appreciate both the donations and the volunteers who help with distribution,” Wilkerson said.
Volunteers for the distribution the morning of the 24th are needed, said Wilkerson. Distributing the baskets involves 75 routes, which require two people per route.
Distribution day starts at the newspaper, 222 S. Seventh St, with breakfast by Boo’s Crossroads Cafe at 6:30 a.m. The first round of deliveries leaves the Tribune-Star about 7 a.m.
Anyone willing to volunteer can contact Wilkerson at 812-231-4219 during normal business hours.
“The reason we do this is simply to help people in need,” said Max Jones, the newspaper’s editor. “We’re always happy to do our part, and we’ve had generations of employees participate and friends and neighbors in the community willing to join us. We are very grateful.”
Contributions can be sent to the Tribune-Star, attention Christmas Basket Fund, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808. Cash or check donations can be dropped off at the newspaper office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Online donations can be made at wabashvalleygives.com. The Wabash Valley Community Foundation administers the donated funds, and contributions are tax deductible.
The Christmas Basket drive also seeks gently used books, especially those suitable for children.