Blackwell: A joyful effort |

Blackwell: A joyful effort

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Although this letter is somewhat tardy, the message of gratitude remains. The Holiday Baskets Program, run entirely by more than 300 volunteers, was once again a joyful community effort. For over 40 years, this program has provided new toys, gifts, and food for people in need in our valley.

The response this year was extremely generous and heartwarming with many individuals and groups participating for the first time, enabling us to serve 265 families — 1,144 individuals. This includes gifting over $50,000 worth of City Market food cards.

In addition to all our volunteers, I especially wish to thank our Steering Committee: Elaine Bonds, Marsha Cook, Kathy Dreher, Suzi Jenkins, Elizabeth Parker, and Bobbi Teliska who spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with holiday angels and making sure all the gift bags were ready on pickup day.

We also thank the 14 agencies who referred the families and delivered their gift bags. We are extremely grateful to Mike Garbarini, who once again entered all the applications online, so that the committee could operate virtually.

We greatly appreciate the Aspen Chapel for serving as a drop-off site for gift bags and wrapping, and St. Peter’s Church in Basalt for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts and gift cards.

A quote from Angela Hanley, English in Action staff member, summarizes the hopes of the Holiday Baskets Program: “We are grateful to all the Holiday Baskets volunteers and donors for their generosity, and the greater message of care and compassion this program communicates in our valley.”

Anne Blackwell

Chairperson, Holiday Baskets Program, Carbondale