The Holiday Baskets program, a totally volunteer project, was once again a wonderful community effort which has provided gifts to individuals and families in need in our valley for over 30 years. Recipients are referred to the program by various social service agencies and are then “adopted” by individuals, the faith community, schools, and other groups. Since not all families are adopted, those who aren’t are provisioned for using donated gift-tag items. In addition to gifts, we were able to provide food gift cards for each person.
The response this year was particularly generous. We received many wonderful donations of toys, money, clothing, blankets, diapers and volunteer time. We are grateful for grants from The Thrift Shop of Aspen, The Elks Club, and the Rotary Club of Aspen.
While it is not possible to individually thank everyone who contributed to this program, there are several who deserve special recognition. Neal Batson, Elaine Bonds and Joy Stryker, Holiday Baskets agency and community coordinators, spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with “adopting angels” and making sure all the gifts were ready on pickup day.
We are also grateful to Christ Episcopal Church for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts. We had lots of energetic help with gift wrapping by volunteers, girl scouts, and school groups.
We appreciate those businesses who let us place our collection jars on their counters and the people who filled them up. It was gratifying to receive gifts from the police, 911, sheriff’s office, fire department, county manager’s office and the Roaring Fork Club. Thank you also to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association for again collecting toys and money for Holiday Baskets at their expo.
It was heartwarming to observe so many people in our community participating in the project with such love and generosity and it was joyful to see the happy faces of the recipients when they received their gifts.
Holiday Baskets chairperson