More than 12 volunteers, including members of the Hallsville city staff, family and friends worked together the morning of Saturday, Dec. 18 in the garage of Hallsville City Hall to bring holiday meals and Christmas presents to 131 Hallsville children and their 31 families.
That number does not include the other 44 boxes, each of which contained at least a week’s worth of food, including a Christmas ham, to get people through the holiday.
The need has grown since last year, Hallsville Mayor Logan Carter said as a separate group of volunteers, including John and Rose Schloot, unloaded more boxes of food to be included in the distribution.
He said the food and gifts are funded by generous donors and the Hallsville Police Foundation, along with the local Angel Tree program.
This is the programs 17th year, Carter said.
“It is a tough time for many people. Inflation is up and the local population is growing along with the economic challenges.”
He said people sign up for the program though city hall or the school district. “Last year was the first year we teamed up with the school district to reach families that might need a little holiday help. Having one centralized system has worked great.”
Though it is not his first year helping, Carter says every holiday season he feels a mixed sense of anticipation, starting with joy, then anxiety that turns again to joy as the project arcs though preparation to completion.
“As we start, I felt a sense of joy at being able to help Hallsville’s families. The joy turns to anxiety as we look at all the orders and I wonder if we will have enough food and gifts to help all the families who are signing up and work to put everything together. Then it turns back to joy when all the presents are wrapped, the boxes are filled and the people are smiling.”
This season, John and Rose Schloot took a moment from their holiday schedule of working with their friends to help distribute Christmas joy to discuss their part in the decades-old project.
“This is our 33rd year, of what I call our accidental little fundraising event, here,” he said as friends unloaded hams, sacks of potatoes and other items from the back of a panel truck.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard