Oregon Christmas Basket program starts

Staff writer

Oregon Health and Welfare will be accepting applications for holiday food baskets each Monday in November from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Oregon Municipal Complex Community room, 5330 Seaman Rd., Road.
Applicants must live within the Oregon City School District. Those applying must bring an ID and proof of income for each person living within the household.
The Oregon Christmas Basket Program began in the 1960s when a few local school teachers noticed there was a need within their own classroom. The teachers became aware that some of their own students’ families were struggling to make ends meet and had a need for food and other necessities, and they began a holiday food drive which has now become the annual Oregon Health and Welfare Christmas Basket Program.
The program continues, executed by an army of volunteers from the schools, local business, fire departments, city administration, civic groups and members of the community.
Oregon schools remain the backbone of the program. The school administration sends information out about what the Christmas Food Basket Program is, what the students and families can do to help and how to register their family to become recipients.
Volunteers place decorated boxes in the lobbies of community businesses seeking donations of toiletries, like paper towels, toilet tissue, hand soap, shampoo, body wash and children’s toys.
A small group of volunteers serve as the Oregon Health and Welfare Committee. The committee meets monthly throughout the year; more frequently leading up to distribution day.
“We need to learn to help others how they want to be helped, not how we think they should receive assistance,” said chairperson, Yvonne Thoma Patton.
The Health and Welfare Committee is responsible for sending out letters to businesses seeking donations for the program. These donations help provide toiletries, personal care items along with fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk and other groceries.
Some group members work to acquire toys for the young children. Other committee members garner the large number of volunteers needed to fully execute the large undertaking.
Last year, the organization provided food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to 232 households.
To learn more about how to help, contact Oregon Health and Welfare at oregonhealthandwelfare@gmail.com or 419-836-0559.


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