Once again this year Patti Larson of Community Connections and her elves were hard at work collecting and sorting donations and building Christmas hampers.
The program has been going on for 18 years. This year Larson said around 180 family and individual hampers were distributed.
The hampers are filled with food, and if families know they don’t like, or won’t eat something, they have the opportunity to trade it in.
“People are the experts in their own lives,” she said.
They also have their choice of toys that have been donated.
“There are some amazing gifts,” Larson said. “People are being very thoughtful.”
Larson said that the community is very generous during the holiday season. Donations pour in for the food bank and hamper program and businesses and individuals donate lots of volunteer hours.
Though both the food bank and the hamper program are for families and people in need, Larson said you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover–that family living in a nice house may spend all of their money on the mortgage with nothing left over.
“It is easy to pinpoint if someone is in need,” she said.
The program changes every year, but it continues to grow.
Larson said there are so many great fundraisers and activities in the community to support the food bank and the hampers, that she can lose track.
The hamper depot and food bank are located in the basement of the legion at 600 1st St. W.