Letter
January 11, 2017

BRGNS thanks food-gift drive volunteers

Dear Editor,

The staff and clients of Black River Good Neighbor Services offer their sincere thanks to all who made our annual holiday food and gift distribution possible. In all we delivered nearly $11,000 worth of food and toys to people in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Plymouth, Mount Holly, and Belmont.
Again this year our staff and volunteers packed and then distributed dinners and toys to many community residents who would otherwise have a bleak holiday. On Dec. 19 some 30 volunteers packed boxes and then on Dec. 22 about 70 volunteers descended on our distribution center at Fletcher Farm and fanned out across the area, carrying boxes and bags to 110 households.
Thanks go to Lee Potter and Jane Pixley who coordinated distribution of the goods.
This project has been a centerpiece of the Black River Good Neighbor Services’ program for over 20 years. It has grown substantially, although the staff and volunteers wish it wasn’t needed. In addition to those who packed and delivered, many people gathered the food and toys during the previous months. This was an area-wide effort.
The process begins early in the year, but gears up in earnest with the annual Stuff-a-Bus in Ludlow, followed by the Okemo Cares and Shares food drive. Thanks go to all who worked at the Stuff-a-Bus and all those who worked at the Okemo food drive, especially the Mountain Ambassadors, the Okemo employees, and Okemo itself for making the food drive happen. And, importantly, we thank all those who donated food or money at either event.
Thanks go to Okemo for donating turkeys, to Black River Produce for giving oranges, apples, and potatoes, to Country Side Lock and Alarms for hot chocolate and candy canes, to Peoples Bank for delivery drivers, to Mountainside House for help off loading food, to Shaw’s Market, and to numerous individuals who gave cash, which was used to buy perishable and non-perishable food items.
Toys were donated by many local organizations and individuals. A special thanks is due to Claire Walker and to Linda Potter for their superb coordination amongst all of these organizations.
Lastly, the Fletcher Farm School gets special thanks for donating space for all of this to happen. This is truly a community effort, and the BRGNS’ officers, staff and clients deeply thank all of the many individual volunteers and donors who make this program possible each year.

Sincerely,
Peter J. LaBelle, board president
Audrey Bridge, executive director

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