An icy winter morning didn’t stop the volunteer elves for the Tipp City Needy Basket project from delivering the annual Christmas Baskets on Dec. 17.
This is the 70th year for the Needy Basket organization, a community based food program for residents of Tipp City, Monroe Township and Bethel Township.
The baskets contained ingredients for a traditional holiday meal along with toys and clothing vouchers for the Clothesline. Larger families traditionally receive a frozen turkey while smaller families receive a turkey breast or ham.
Families also receive a box of produce, potatoes and rolls along with canned and dry food items. There are new toys for younger girls or gift cards for older ones.
This year, the Christmas program served 209 families with 759 individuals including 449 adults and 310 children.
Jim Sommer, Needy Basket coordinator, asked to extend thank yous to all volunteers and drivers who helped with the deliveries “on a day with some harsh weather conditions.”
Sommer said the organization is made up entirely of volunteers. Their pay is knowing they helped someone.
“We see some families who have told us they couldn’t afford to buy kids toys that year and, without us, they wouldn’t have gotten any,” Sommer said. “That has to make you feel good.”
Sommer said he has no idea how many people have volunteered for Needy Basket over its 70 years.
“It is the generosity of the community in supporting us and the great effort of volunteers who support us,” he said.
The organization for years operated out of the American Legion building before moving to a new headquarters on South Fifth Street 10 years ago.
Although the Christmas Baskets program is probably the organization’s most high profile effort, it is in operation all year long with its food pantry.
Anyone with questions about the programs, needing assistance or wanting to make donations can stop by Needy Basket at 330 S. Fifth St. during open hours Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon; Wednesday, 3-5 p.m.; and Friday, 3-5:30 p.m. Donations can be mailed to 330 S. Fifth St., Tipp City, 45371.