More than 30 volunteers converged at 5 p.m. on Dec. 18 at Bethel Baptist Church in Amissville to assemble food baskets for the more than three dozen families at the receiving end of the Amissville Holiday Food Drive. The volunteers’ love for their less fortunate neighbors flowed out the doors of the church basement and into the night.
Most of the volunteers were local heroes, with a few from neighboring communities filling out the ranks. It did not take them long to organize the donated food on tables along the walls, while organizers stationed soon-to-be-filled cardboard boxes in rows of chairs placed back to back in the center of the room. The boxes had been decorated several days earlier with cheery Christmas wrapping paper by members of the local 4-H club as their winter public-service project, said their leader, Jennifer Gray, also known as “Mama G.”
It took almost 60 minutes of nonstop scurrying to fill boxes with one of each category of food, including canned corn, ‘blue box’ macaroni, rice, potatoes, flour and soups. With donated funds, each family also received a turkey for their celebration. Moreover, organizers used the funds to purchase 16 fruit baskets and 45 bouquets of flowers to bring holiday cheer to other local residents.
Saturday morning (Dec. 19), an army of volunteers met in the church parking lot to load up the food boxes, baskets and bouquets to make the more than 100 deliveries throughout the community. In addition, 18 boxes of donated food went to the Rappahannock Food Pantry. Event chairman Frank Fishback reported it was “mission accomplished” by noon.