Christmas Baskets

Foothills Rural Community Ministry Christmas Baskets

Although, it’s been a different year for everything, the FRCM Christmas basket project was once again successful.  This project takes the whole year to plan, organize, fundraise, contact families, and contact donators and volunteers, order food, shop, wrap.  and much more.  This is a year-long community commitment, thank you to those that made this possible!

A total of 233 baskets were given out. We gave out 155 baskets to families with children, and 78 baskets to senior citizens and special needs adults (Many of these individuals need theirs delivered.  This need increased greatly this year.).  Of the 881 people helped, 398 were children.  Families and seniors were able to request a basket from Foothills or in response to an article in the Rural Star newspaper, word of mouth, through their school buildings or the food pantry.  We also received some anonymous referrals.

Each basket contained nonperishable food items, various hygiene products, a bag of oranges, and one of apples (donated by North Star Orchards). All families with children received a 14-23 lb. turkey and a 5-pound chicken or ham and all senior citizens/special need families were given a 5-pound chicken. Large families were able to receive 2 turkeys and a chicken/ham. Everyone received gift cards for milk from Stewarts. We are grateful to local businesses that provide donations and discounts that enable us to provide this food, as well as the businesses that support the Trenton Chamber of Commerce fundraiser at the Adirondack Bank, which also looked different this year. The Adirondack Bank also added another $1200.00 to the fundraiser. Non-perishable food came from local school food collections, a local store, or was purchased from the Food Bank of Central New York with funds from FRCM and from various fundraisers and community contributions. 

This year our gift-giving was a bit different.  Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, we were unsure of the stores closing, people donating, funds available, and the community needs. Therefore, it decided that hats, mittens, and toys would be best to give this year.  The children each received mittens and a hat, and a toy/s. Members of area churches, school faculties, and business employees purchased the gifts. We have started collecting winter jackets, snow pants, and boots for next year. We are expecting the need to be great since this year we were unable to offer these items. To assist with the additional funds we are anticipating for next year, the Marine Corp Toys for Tots Program has donated 125 toys to store and give next year to offset expense/donations needed for the winter items.  Many of our hats and mittens were donated by the many wonderful knitters in our community!  They also made many lap blankets that were donated to our seniors. As in the past, committee members continue to shop sales all year long for the many needed items.             

We downsized our volunteers so social distancing could still be practiced, which made it more difficult for those assisting. We were unable to use the basement of St. Leo’s and St. Ann’s for gift and food sorting.  However, we were thankful they did allow us to use the Annex building for gift sorting. Thank you to The First Presbyterian Church of Holland Patent for helping us in our time of need. John Angwin had the Girl and Boy Scouts and the High School Wrestling Team at different times assisting with the food portion at the twin churches prior to our distribution dates (12/19-20). Since our event was completely drive-thru and 100 percent outside,  albeit storage, community members donated the use of their utility trailers to keep gift bags covered and offer some protection from the elements, which we always seem to be blessed with. The drive-thru worked well and we will do our best to continue this way.  It would be impossible to do this project without the help we receive from our wonderfully generous community and the committee organizing it!  KUDOS TO ALL INVOLVED!

Christmas Basket Chairs: Candy & Bill Owen, Lynn Snow and John & Elaine Angwin.  
Committee & Volunteers: Sharon Firley, Leanne Plunkett, Joan & Paul Kotwica, Pat & Bob Robinson, Lorraine Pawson, 
Jeff & Sonya Ellinger, Isabelle & Laura Pierczynski, Marianne Doyle, David & Anne Getbehead, Chris Dittl, Matt Kochan, 
Jim Fruscella, Stephanie Files, Junior Greene, Denise Grogan, Dan MacAlpine, Andrew Yutzler
Delivery Crew: John Sherman, Bill & Bonnie Tuttle and Grandson, and Luke Kochan, John Schmitt

                                                                                          Did you know?
The Christmas Basket Committee has an account at
 Cushman's Bottle and Can Redemption Center on Rte. 365 in Floyd. 
When you bring in cans and bottles you can tell them to apply the redemption to the 
Foothills Christmas Basket account. 
The money earned will help to buy food for the baskets. 
Thank you.
 This account will be active throughout the year

COMMITTEE:Sharon Firley, John Angwin, Candy Owen, Lynn Snow, Pat Robinson, Joan Kotwica, Paul Kotwica,  Lorraine Pawson, Sonya Ellinger, Isabel Pierzynski, Mary Ann Doyle

Sign ups are during our Food Pantry days or call our office at 315-865-5854 for information or to                                    volunteer. 


Click on the attachments below to read more about our Christmas Basket Program in years past.-
Bonnie Churcher,
Apr 11, 2015, 4:30 AM
Bonnie Churcher,
Sep 10, 2013, 1:31 PM
Bonnie Churcher,
Sep 2, 2012, 5:45 PM
Bonnie Churcher,
Aug 11, 2011, 3:19 PM
Bonnie Churcher,
Sep 2, 2010, 8:43 AM
Bonnie Churcher,
Sep 10, 2013, 1:26 PM