BUCKHANNON – It’s the time of year when folks are out purchasing items for their Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
So, while picking up supplies for your dinner, if you can afford grab some extra food items to help those who are struggling during the holidays, the Upshur Parish House can always make use of them.
Kristi Wilkerson, executive director of the Parish House, said they have most of what they will anticipate they will need for the Thanksgiving baskets; however, folks wishing to chip in items may do so.
“We could use some pumpkin pie or fruit pie filling, pie crust mixes, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce or stuffing,” Wilkerson said.
The Parish House began their Thanksgiving basket giveaway on Wednesday, Nov. 20 and that will continue through Tuesday, Nov. 26 during the normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Parish House is located at 68 College Ave. in Buckhannon.
“We began our Thanksgiving basket giveaway on Wednesday and had our evening hour giveaway on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.,” Wilkerson said. “On Wednesday, we served 176 families and on Thursday morning, we had 144 families. On Thursday evening, we had 55 families for a total so far of 375.”
Wilkerson said the Parish House anticipates providing 600 to 650 meal baskets overall for Thanksgiving.
“We are beginning to collect for our Christmas baskets and sill are in need of canned corn, yams, cake mixes and frosting,” she said. “We expect to serve approximately 600 families again for the Christmas baskets.”
Distribution for the Christmas meal packages is schedule for the week of Dec. 16-20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Parish House as well as 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. Wilkerson said there are no sign-ups for holiday meal baskets.
“Neighbors simply need to show up during the distribution hours. If they have not been to the Parish House before, they will need to bring their Social Security card with them or another government document that has their social security number on it, as well as complete a ‘new neighbor form’ once they get to the Parish House,” she said.
Wilkerson said the Parish House has received a tremendous amount of support from the community.
“We cannot say thank you enough,” she said.
“We have had churches, businesses, civic groups and individuals donate food items and money, and have had many local folks donate their time to volunteer and assist with the holiday meal basket distribution,” she said. “We are so very grateful for all of the support we have received and for the opportunity to live in a community that cares so much for our neighbors in need.”
As for regular donations, Wilkerson said the Parish House food pantry is looking for some specific items.
“We are in need of canned soup and jelly for our regular food pantry, as well as personal hygiene items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We can always use kid-friendly items like Spaghetti-Os, Chef Boyardee ravioli with pop tab tops, juice boxes and fruit cups,” she said.
Wilkerson said this year the Parish House received a donation from Box It Up to Give Thanks – a project of the Key Club of Bridgeport High School in Harrison County.
“We really appreciate every donation and every person who has helped us in some way with our holiday food basket giveaway,” she said.
As a reminder, the Clothes Closet, located just behind the Parish House at 47 Sedgwick St., will continues its quarter sale Saturday, Nov. 23. All used shirts and pants will be 25 cents each.
The Parish House will be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27-29 for Thanksgiving and the Clothes Closet is closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28-30 for Thanksgiving. Both will reopen on Monday, Dec. 2.
The Clothes Closet is closed when Upshur County Schools are closed due to inclement weather. When there is a two or three-hour delay, the Clothes Closet is open regular hours.
“We encourage everyone to ‘like’ us on Facebook and check there for special announcements,” Wilkerson said. “They are listed under The Clothes Closet and Upshur Cooperative Parish: Parish House and Crosslines Inc.”