To the editor: BRGNS thanks all for holiday food, gift collection, distribution efforts

Each year, the staff and volunteers at Black River Good Neighbor Services collect food and toys during December and distribute them to deserving families throughout the area. This distribution dates back to well before the creation of BRGNS, but our staff and volunteers are proud to continue the tradition and to serve our clients in this manner. We at BRGNS offer our sincere thanks to all who made this season’s annual holiday food and gift distribution possible.

Our staff and volunteers packed, then distributed dinners and toys to many community residents who would otherwise have had a bleak holiday. On Dec. 18,  some 30 volunteers packed boxes. Then on Dec. 20, 35 teams of volunteers gathered at Fletcher Farm and fanned out across the area, carrying boxes and bags to more than 100 households made up of 214 individuals, more than 60 of whom are children.

Thanks go to Lee and Linda Potter, Jane Pixley and Claire Walker for coordinating the distribution. In all we delivered nearly $11,000 worth of food and toys to people in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Plymouth, Mt. Holly and Belmont. While this project is a centerpiece of the Black River Good Neighbor Services’ program and has grown substantially over the years, we all wish that it wasn’t needed.

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 at the Okemo food drive, and especially the Okemo staff for making the food drive happen. And, importantly we thank all those who donated food or money at either event.

Toys and additional food were donated by:

  • Ludlow Rotary,
  • Heritage Credit Union,
  • United Church of Ludlow,
  • Annunciation Church,
  • Ludlow Garden Club,
  • Friends of the Library,
  • St. James Methodist Church of Proctorsville,
  • Ludlow Women’s Club,
  • Ludlow town employees,
  • Berkshire Bank,
  • Cavendish Baptist Church,
  • People’s Bank,
  • LaValley’s,
  • Cota and Cota and
  • Tyson Ladies Aid, all of whom deserve deepest thanks.

A special thanks is due to Claire Walker and to Linda Potter for their superb coordination among all of these organizations.

Thanks go to Okemo for donating turkeys, to Black River Produce for giving oranges, apples and potatoes, to Peoples Bank for delivery drivers, to LaValleys for supplies, to Mountainside House for help transporting food, and to numerous individuals who gave cash, which was used to buy perishable and non-perishable food items.

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.

John Dean
Board president

Audrey Bridge
Executive director
Black River Good Neighbor Services

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