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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Groups rush to bring cheer to families in need

Thursday, December 17, 2009

(Sentinel photo by Beverly Van Buskirk) Christian Needs Center director Jess Larson packs a box with food items to be picked up by a family. Volunteers at the center are busy preparing Christmas food baskets for families who need some help in this holiday season.
The Christmas packages are coming in at the Christian Needs Center in Le Mars.

The food and clothing pantry is staying just ahead of families' needs this Christmas season.

"We're doing okay," said director Jess Larson.

As of Monday, all the families and individuals on the center's adopt-a-family list had been adopted.

"But that could change, tomorrow we might have more," Larson said.

That list includes families and individuals who because of circumstances, need help in providing a merry Christmas for their family.

People who want to purchase gifts for someone in need should call Larson at the center, 546-9428.

Volunteers are busy at the Christian Needs Center, too. They're sorting out the Christmas gifts, wrapping if needed, and helping pack the food baskets for families and individuals.

Chris Gabriel was volunteering Monday with the food baskets, helping an individual get a box of food to their car.

Pat Warner has been busy with the Christmas gifts.

"I've done a lot of wrapping here. I'm glad I'm done with my gifts at home," she said.

Later the two would help pack more food boxes.

The two are among a handful of faithful volunteers who help Larson keep things going at the center.

Larson said while they are keeping up, the food donations are coming in and going out at about the same rate.

"Cash donations are always welcome," Larson added.

It's much the same at Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., according to Sue Reed. Mid-Sioux helps families with food, clothing and heating needs as well as other services for low-income families.

"It's been going really well for us this Christmas season," said Reed.

Mid-Sioux and the Christian Needs Center work together on referrals, checking that all families receive help.

Reed contacts families who come to Mid-Sioux for help, and gets a Christmas wish/need list from the family who will be "adopted" by organizations and individuals.

The adopters, in turn, pick up the lists, purchase the gifts, and returned them wrapped and tagged to Mid-Sioux.

"As late as Monday, we had a family come in," Reed said. "A generous person from Remsen donated funds to help that family."

Mid-Sioux's food pantry has been helped by food drives by the Boy Scouts in Remsen as well as donations from groups such as the HAVE Club at Remsen-Union School, which donated a box of fruit.

Reed herself will do some last-minute shopping for a family this week.

Mid-Sioux, which has offices in Remsen, Akron and Le Mars, will be open until Wednesday, Dec. 23, if anyone needs assistance.

Reed said several families came forward to adopt families on the list this year.

"They said this is what Christmas is all about, the giving and sharing. It's been very nice," Reed added.

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