Volunteers organized a vast amount of donated food and gift items Monday afternoon at Marion Community Center to donate to 63 families in the Community Christmas program.
Chamber of Commerce secretary Margo Yates said that every family was nominated would receive a couple hundred dollars worth of food.
“About half of the families are signed up to also receive gifts for their children,” Yates said. “If someone applies, they get one main gift, some stocking stuffers, hats, gloves, and things the family has asked for.”
The event includes families that live in both Marion and Centre school districts, and has changed since it began, Yates said.
“Over the years we have beefed up on the food items and cut back on the gifts because no one should go without something in their cupboard,” Yates said. “I think everyone is doing that these days to some extent.”
Volunteers Sarah Cope and Shirley Groening were organizing extra toy items that people donated as stocking stuffers.
“It’s going to be a madhouse here tomorrow and Wednesday,” Groening said. “There’s a lot to do.”
Cope said that she and Groening use money allocated for the event to shop for any angel gift requests not already filled because some people prefer to give cash donations.
“We try to buy the gifts in Marion first, and then we look elsewhere,” Groening said. “We only buy gifts out of the county if we can’t find what we need to fill an order.”
Another volunteer, high school student Nick Meyer, said he came to help, along with his after school weight-lifting class.
“It’s good community service,” Meyer said.