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Willcox Pantry gives more than 200 turkey dinners

WILLCOX — It took more than five hours to hand out the food boxes, but the volunteers worked tirelessly to be sure all applicants received their Christmas dinner.

The Willcox Food Pantry was able to serve a large line of people, who waited patiently for their chance to receive a turkey, a box of food, and the chance to pick a gift for their loved ones.

“It was really successful,” said pantry director Nell Worden. “We gave out 210 turkey dinners. We didn’t get through until 5 pm. People were happy and everybody got a complete Christmas dinner and they all got gifts. We had things left over and I think it was a big success. I’m really proud of the fact that we were able to help that many people. We also sent 15 Christmas dinners to Bowie.”

Last year, the pantry was able to give 120 boxes to those in need. This year there was an increase in meal applications, but the pantry was able to fill the needs in the community. Safeway furnished the pantry with 100 dinners and the pantry purchased enough food for the rest. Worden told the Range News that there were still several meals left, and that she was at the pantry on Christmas Eve waiting for individuals who might come in because they couldn’t the day before.

“I think this is an awesome blessing that we live in a community that is willing to donate stuff to help the people in our community who may not otherwise be able to get these things. Like to get a turkey, toys and we help with delivering food to the schools. It’s such a blessing that this town has so much generosity,” said pantry volunteer Sarah Wilson.

Bowie children participate in The Giving Project

BOWIE — Children were given the opportunity to select and then wrap gifts for someone else in an effort to teach the concept of giving.

Children in Bowie Unified School District No. 14 participated in The Giving Project, which kicked off Dec. 19. The children chose items from the Bowie School Community Closet to give to local families in need.

The event was run by volunteers and sponsored through Community Closet donations and volunteer effort.

“Over 60 students participated in this awesome learning opportunity. More than 10 parent volunteers showed up to help with the gift wrapping and helping students to select gifts. We are lucky to be working with the Bowie Unified School District to make this Bowie Community a place where everyone not only learns but also where everyone cares,” said Susan Larabee, orchestrator of the event.