A heartwarming project | AspenTimes.com

A heartwarming project

Dear Editor:

The Holiday Baskets Program, a totally volunteer project was, once again, a wonderful community effort which provided gifts and food to 255 families (1,300 people) in need in our valley. People are referred to the program by social service agencies and are then “adopted” by individuals, the faith community, schools and other groups.

The response this year was particularly generous. We received many wonderful donations of toys, money, clothing and volunteer time. We had a lot of energetic help with gift wrapping by Girl Scouts and other school groups. In addition to gifts, we were able to provide very generous food gift cards to each person. Those staying at the homeless shelter also received food gift cards.

While it is not possible to individually thank everyone who contributed to this program, there are several who deserve special recognition. Neal Batson, Elaine Bonds and Joy Stryker, Holiday Baskets agency and community coordinators, spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with Adopting Angels and making sure all the gifts were ready on pick-up day. We are also grateful to Christ Episcopal Church for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the hundreds of gift bags.

We appreciate those businesses who let us place our collections jars on their counters. Thank you also to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association for again collecting many fabulous toys as well as money for Holiday Baskets at their annual holiday party.

It was heartwarming to observe so many people in our community participating in this project with such love and generosity, and it was joyful to see the happy faces of the recipients when they received their gifts.

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Anne Blackwell

chairperson, Holiday Baskets

Aspen