“I always ask a group of ladies to come out and help check families in,” said Gladys Schneeberger, who has been volunteering with St. Vincent for more than 20 years. “They always say yes. They are always ready and cooperative and just the best people.”
At least 150 volunteers came to the parish center Thursday night to prepare the boxes, said volunteer Jerry Lawrence — so many that all 1,200 baskets were prepped in less than two hours.
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Volunteers came to the church as early as 4:30 a.m. Friday morning to prepare the perishable items and set up final details before the basket distribution began at 9 a.m.
The boxes were paid for primarily by donations from parishes in the council and money raised at the Friends of the Poor Walk in October, Lawrence said. A donation of $100 fed four families. To receive the baskets, families signed up in early December, he said.
“It’s a calling,” said Tony Bicker, a volunteer of 20 years. “It’s not just helping people. It becomes a way of life.”
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