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Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association
2013 Annual Charity Ride
Christmas Basket Totals $9,520
By Denyse Clark
Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 6:00 am (Updated: January 5, 6:00 am)
The 2013 Ward Faulkenberry Memorial Basket Fund raised a total of $9,520 to buy food for needy families over the holidays.
HOPE (Helping Other People Effectively) in Lancaster spearheaded the annual Christmas Basket fund. HOPE, a nonprofit, faith-based organization, provides short-term emergency assistance throughout the year to families in crisis.
HOPE has been thrilled beyond belief with the outpouring of generosity of the community during this Christmas Basket fund, said Rhonda Hare, interim co-executive director of HOPE. We have been able to help so many families during this special season with the additional food purchased with the donations.
Donations collected in week five of the annual drive were $2,630.
A simple thank you does not express the gratitude HOPE has for all those that helped make this possible, Hare said. Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Feed the Children delivers 1,200 boxes
By Denyse Clark
Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:00 am (Updated: November 15, 6:00 am)
The old Kmart parking lot was full of vehicles Thursday, Nov. 14, but it wasnt because the long-time retail store is reopening.
It was a day to celebrate genuine servanthood and attitudes of gratitude in Lancaster.
Earlier that morning, Dan Leister, a Feed the Children truck driver, pulled into the Kmart parking lot and explained his inspiring role with the international, non-profit, Christian-based ministry that helps families in need.
It only took him four words.
Its what we do, Leister said, before removing his jacket to show the back of his T-shirt that read, Feeding children is our No. 1 goal!
For nearly six years, Leister, who lives in Custer, S.D., has driven across the country for this ministry. He picked up this warehouse-load of food in Laverne, Tenn., and drove to Lancaster. From here, he headed to Andrews to get another load of supplies.
Leister said he wont get home from his driving assignments until Dec. 23, but thats OK with him.
Leister loves his job.
We enjoy seeing people get the help with what they need, he said.
By 9 a.m., Leisters truck was nearly unloaded and HOPE (Helping Other People Effectively) in Lancaster volunteers had arrived.
It was shaping up to be a great day though temperatures still registered much lower than normal.
The local distribution of the Feed the Children ministry, organized by HOPE, was to begin at 11 a.m. but plans changed to an hour earlier, said Mitch Stephens of Lancasters Feed the Children Chapter No. 396.
The parking lot started to get full, so we started early, he said.
Stephens helped direct the traffic flow as cars, filled with appreciative individuals and families, filed through the line, yelling a heartfelt, Thank you.
Ann Blackmon and Rhonda Hare, co-executive directors of HOPE, said 400 vouchers were distributed for Thursdays free giveaway.
We have so many people right now without jobs, Hare said. Theyre either unemployed or under-employed, so this is a way to help families with the cost of groceries because our county is still in big need.
Blackmon said each family received three vouchers for three boxes non-perishable food items, personal hygiene products and a special box from Avon with perfumes and other gifts. HOPE also added a special gift a warm blanket.
Blackmon was especially grateful on Thursday for the servant attitudes of HOPE volunteers.
Its just a blessing to see these people come together and give of their time, she said. We didnt have to ask a single volunteer to help.
Terry Robinson, a HOPE volunteer for almost three years, shared why it was important for her to be there.
I love serving people, she said. Jesus came into the world to serve and that's what I like to do.
A husband and wife, who asked to not be identified, shared what this Feed the Children and HOPE project meant to them.
Right now, it means a lot because of hard times, the husband said. Its good to know there are good people in the world that care about other peoples needs. God bless them!
His wife echoed his sentiments.
Yes, it means so much because the economy is so bad, she said. We thank God theres people to help people in need. Thank you for the blessing!