By Jeff Noble / Staff writer
Hundreds of food baskets have been delivered to needy families by the Corbin Lions Club since 1949. Once again, club members and volunteers will carry on their proud Christmas tradition for the 64th straight year, starting with sign-ups later this week.
The sign-ups will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday inside the Princess McBurney Center gymnasium, across from Campbell Field.
Lions Club member Mike Pawula pointed out this year’s goal is $15,000, to help pay for food costs for their program.
“All the money goes to this campaign. As in past years, we ask individuals, organizations and business to help out as much as they can. We also need volunteers to help us deliver the baskets on the morning of Monday, December 24th,” Pawula said in a phone interview Friday.
Last year, the Lions Club Christmas Basket program raised $10,464 toward paying for 240 baskets that were delivered Christmas Eve. It’s a far cry from the five baskets the club delivered in 1949 when their program first started.
Pawula said the basket will contain 26 items for those families who will be selected.
Each basket will have a canned ham, frozen Salisbury steaks, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, canned sweet potatoes, apples, oranges, canned creamed corn, canned green beans, canned sweet peas, pork and beans, canned fruit cocktail, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, self-rising flour, corn meal, dried mixed beans, stuffing, cake mix, vegetable oil, margarine, bread, milk, Pepsi products and candy.
After the sign-ups this Thursday and Friday, the Corbin Lions Club will decide at their regular meeting next Monday, Dec. 3, which families will get the food baskets.
“Who will get those baskets are determined not by order, but by need,” Pawula said.
Once those families are chosen, the Lions Club will mail orange postcards, which the families will receive by Dec. 23.
Pawula added, “Those cards will be put by the window, or by the mailbox. That’s to help those who’ll be delivering the food baskets.”
The baskets will be delivered by Lions Club members and volunteers on Dec. 24th. Those delivering will meet at David’s Steakhouse on the Cumberland Gap Parkway, near Exit 29 of I-75., to have breakfast and go over final plans. From there, they’ll go to the auto shop at Corbin Vocational School, to finish putting together the food baskets.
The club will start delivering the baskets around 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve day.
“Prior to the 24th, the auto shop students put the baskets together with all the non-perishable items. On the 24th of December, some of them also help by breaking down big 50-pound sacks of fresh potatoes, as well as the other fresh fruits and vegetables in big sacks and bags, into putting the perishable foods into the food baskets and getting them ready for delivery for the needy families,” noted Pawula.
While volunteers are welcome to help deliver the goods, Pawula pointed out teenagers are especially welcome to take part in the Lions Club project.
“It’s always satisfying for them to help deliver food to those that need it. It helps those in need, helps those delivering the food to see how and what they’ve done to make a difference in someone’s life, and most of all it puts a smile on everyone’s face,” he said.
You can mail donations to the Corbin Lions Club Christmas Basket Program to P. O. Box 365, Corbin, KY 40702. For more information, you can call Pawula at 606-523-1129.