Submitted by Christine Fuller
Once again Santa asked Black River Good Neighbor Services to give him an assist in making sure that every neighbor in need had a Happy Holiday. So on the first day of winter volunteers delivered Christmas food baskets and bags loaded with gifts for children and seniors.
With great support from other BRGNS Board Members and an army of wonderful volunteers, Ray Lavanway headed the distribution efforts. Ray said “volunteers from our local community came to Fletcher Farm at 10 minute intervals from 8am until 2:30pm. Volunteers loaded their vehicle with deliveries for three to four families and then drove off to the assigned addresses”. The towns served were Cavendish, Ludlow, Mt. Holly, Proctorsville and Plymouth. Ray also said “the group of volunteers who worked with me getting the boxes and bags lined up for pick up was one of the best I’ve ever worked with in fact we completed the task in record time”.
By the end of the day 140 families, consisting of 200 adults and 198 children had received all the makings necessary for a very Merry Christmas. Jim Fuller, out going President of the Board, noted “over the last seven Christmas’ BRGNS has served 1,965 people who otherwise would not have had a Christmas dinner, or gifts. It would have been impossible to meet this demand without the support of this incredibly generous community”.
Wednesday night, Dec. 15th, saw many individuals and families come to Fletcher Farm to help pack the boxes. These Christmas elves braved the cold to make a positive impact on people who, in most cases, they don’t even know.
A huge thank you goes not just to the volunteers but to the many organizations that contributed to help make the food baskets and gift bags possible: Sons of the American Legion, Cumberland Farms of Ludlow, Black River Produce of Springfield, LaValleys of Ludlow, Shaw’s of Ludlow, Fletcher Foundation, and the Fletcher Farm School & the Vermont Society of Artists and Craftsman who enable this program to happen by donating the use of their building for an entire month. Strong support comes from Annunciation Church, United Church, Ludlow Rotary Club, Ludlow Elementary School, Black River High School, Black River Honor Society, Okemo Mountain Ambassadors, Okemo Mountain School, Diane & Tim Muller, Holy Name of Mary Altar Society, the Methodist Church of Proctorsville, Ludlow Garden Club, Ludlow Swing Dance Club, Singletons Store, Wine & Cheese Depot, Crown Point Board of Realtors, Vermont Properties, Okemo Valley Women’s Club, Women’s Society for Christian Service, Teachers of Ludlow Elementary School, Plymouth Memory Tree, Strong Living Program and Friends of Fletcher Memorial Library, Ludlow Garden Club, Ecumenical Church of Ludlow, Rotary Club, Chapter 14, Tyson Church, Tyson Ladies Aid, Windsor County Youth Services and the Ludlow Snowmobile Club.
Thank you to everyone in the community who donated gifts, toys, monies and their time to support our holiday gift program. With your help we were able to present 230+ gifts. We want you all to know that this would not be possible with out the help we get from everyone in the community. Whether you donated a can of corn or a carload full of toys and gifts, as a community effort we should all be proud of what we accomplished.