December 25, 2009

Generosity in abundance from the ‘Heart’

Generosity in abundance from the ‘Heart’
By STU MERRY

Quicker than you can say, “Gifts from the Heart helps less fortunate in the Garrison area,” 80 food baskets were packed and ready to go to their recipients.
In less than an hour the more than 50 volunteers sorted, counted and packed the boxes. Co-coordinator of the “Gifts” campaign, Rev. Dick Hendrickson told the group the packing was done in record time.
The volunteers came from all walks of life. Joining in this year’s efforts were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Garrison Chamber of Commerce members, Garrison Lions cub members and residents of the community.
Hendrickson said he continues to be amazed at the support shown the program. He noted recent years have seen good financial donations to Gifts from the Heart. So much so that something new was added. Going along with the staples of bread, flour, sugar, turkey, ham, a 2 liter of pop and potatoes was two lbs. of hamburger and hamburger helper.
“We (he and his wife Sue) thought it would be a nice addition because it makes a meal,” he said.
Included in each “food basket” are a variety of vegetables, soups, pastas, health and beauty aids and other non-perishable goods.
The Gifts from the Heart campaign celebrated its 24th anniversary this year. While financial donations continue strong, so do donations of non-perishable food items. This year, Garrison High School’s FBLA chapter hosted a fill the stage promotion with donations earmarked to “Gifts” and the McLean Family Resource Center.
Hendrickson noted that about 800 parcels came from that effort.
“And that’s a big help,” he said.
Going along with the food baskets, more than 300 Christmas gifts were wrapped this year – all from requests on Christmas “Giving Trees” that were placed in the lobbies of the community’s two banks (Garrison State Bank and Trust and BNC National Bank). On the trees are paper stars. Listed on the stars are clothing items that people requested. Individuals who wish to donate in the Giving Tree promotion pick a star and purchase the item listed. That item is then wrapped by volunteers and disbursed when individuals come to pick up their Gifts from the Heart food boxes.
 


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