Community Christmas brings joy
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Marion without a program that brings holiday joy to less fortunate families.
On Thursday, 48 families who applied and were approved for the program were given gifts for children and boxes of food intended to take care of their holiday dinner and the time children will be out of school.
“There’s a couple hundred dollars worth of food,” said Margo Yates, a longtime volunteer for the Community Christmas committee. “Every family gets a turkey and a ham. We try to beef up the bigger families.”
Gene Winkler was Santa in a pickup when he pulled a trailer full of food from the Kansas Food Bank to Marion.
Winkler brought in 2,000 pounds of turkey, 700 pounds of apples, and 500 pounds of potatoes.
The haul was destined for both the Community Christmas Committee’s holiday program and the Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank.
The idea is to put enough food in the cupboard to see the family through the holiday season.
“We do a few secret Santa things every year, where people haven’t asked, and we also try to think of some elderly folks who could use a little help.”
Children all get a main gift, stocking stuffers, and socks. Some will get blankets as well.
Families get personal care items such as shampoo, deodorants and soap.
“There’s even some cleaning products in there,” Yates said.
Yates has been the point of contact for the program several years now.
“People started bringing me things for this Christmas right after last Christmas,” Yates said.
The program operates on donations from an annual toy run, churches, clubs and organizations, Carlsons’ Grocery, and the public.
“It takes a lot of people to make it happen,” Yates said
Besides families who fill out applications available at the city office, organizers work with schools, Marion County Health Department, and Prairie View.
“We base it off of income, and you have to have custody of the children,” Yates said.