Niagara Gazette

December 8, 2012

Youngstown helps families for Christmas

Don Glynn
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Area residents have been invited to donate canned foods and nonperishable items today for the annual Youngstown Christmas Baskets drive. 

William Baird of Boy Scout Troop 829 said troop members and Cub Scout Pack 829 will canvass the village and subdivisions like Collingwood Estates and Youngstown Estates from 2 until 4 p.m.  

Residents have been asked to leave the canned goods in plastic bags near the front entrance of their homes. A variety of items is always needed, including pasta, peanut butter and oatmeal. "They can leave them at the door for us to pick up. If the items aren't there, the Scouts will just knock in case anyone is interesting in donating," Baird added.

The scouts also will be collecting any new, unwrapped hats, gloves, mittens and other clothing, books and toys that will be placed in the baskets for the children. All the goods will be taken to the Red Brick municipal building to be sorted and packaged by the volunteers. Delivery of all the gifts and food items is set for Dec. 15. 

The community-wide tradition of spreading Christmas cheer to local families was launched about 30 years by the former Youngstown Civic Guild. In the early stages, only a handful of baskets had been delivered to needy people, according to Margaret Hanson, the longtime organizer of the current drive. Today the number is usually about 50 baskets per year.

Hanson oversees the process of collecting names, updating the list of the recipients and checking to see if they still would like help at Christmas. All of the information remains confidential.