Parish House wraps up distribution of Thanksgiving baskets


BUCKHANNON — The Upshur Cooperative Parish House, located at 68 College Avenue, wrapped up the final day of distribution of Thanksgiving baskets to Upshur County residents on Tuesday, November 22. Volunteers were present and discussed the program, what the baskets include and more details. Kristi Wilkerson, Executive Director for the Parish House also provided information and a thank you message to everyone who helps contribute.

Beth Bohman, a volunteer that helps with distributions including Thanksgiving Baskets, described that the baskets included items such as canned goods, pumpkin pie filling, green beans and cranberry sauce. Pie crust mix, gravy mix, instant mashed potatoes, nonfat dried milk and a frozen turkey or turkey breast were also included. Bohman also noted that a Thanksgiving card accompanied all the baskets and vouchers for dairy items at select stores are also provided.

Another volunteer, Kathy Black, was present and shared that she volunteers three days a week. Black shared that on their drive thru day Saturday, November 19, 272 families received Thanksgiving baskets. Black also commented that the Parish House has received lots of donations from the community and corporate providers.

Wilkerson said, “We are seeing great need in our community - more than we anticipated. We would typically provide 630 to 680 Thanksgiving baskets to our neighbors-in-need. This year we are over 800, by far the largest distribution ever for Thanksgiving!”

“We continue to be so blessed by the generosity of this community. Weyerhaeuser and Novelis both provided significant contributions to help us pay for turkeys. Walmart collected nonperishable items. Churches and businesses gathered needed items. Rotary, Lions and 4-H clubs, among others, helped pre-pack and distribute the baskets. Community Care of W.Va. provided the reusable grocery bags to put everything in. A program out of Bridgeport, ‘Boxing It Up to Give Thanks,’ organized by a W.Va. Wesleyan student, donated 50 boxes and turkeys, which really helped us meet the increased need this year.

“We truly cannot say thank you enough to everyone who supports this effort and special program. I especially appreciate our staff and regular volunteers who work extra-long hours to make sure every Upshur family needing a basket receives one.

“We also appreciate Ed Poach from Save A Lot who helps us secure the large order of turkeys. And we appreciate our partnerships with Rock Cave IGA, Shop N Save Express and Wendling’s who also assist us with holiday baskets.

“We are already preparing for Christmas boxes and anticipate the level of need to be roughly the same. We are collecting canned yams, corn, pork and beans, frosting and cake mixes. We can also use extra funds to pay for the hams that go with each Christmas basket.”

In addition to the holiday boxes, The Parish House shared on their Facebook page that their general pantry needs peanut butter, canned diced tomatoes, spaghetti, canned mixed vegetables, canned peas, canned carrots, fruit such as applesauce, spaghetti o’s or ravioli for kids, grape jelly, tuna, tampons and toilet paper.

For more information or updates, visit Upshur Cooperative Parish: Parish House and Crosslines Inc. on Facebook or call (304) 472-0743.

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