Millet and area residents who are having trouble in these tough economic times can once again rely on one group of friends for help: The Millet Lions.
The Millet Lions Club is once again running its Christmas hamper program. Lions Club member Audrey Smith stated all hampers are donated to local families who need them, and the families themselves are nominated from within the community.
Smith said the club encourages anyone and everyone to nominate less fortunate families who would benefit from getting a Christmas hamper. She said the club briefly flirted with the idea of some kind of screening process to ensure the hampers only went to those truly less fortunate families, but she said it was virtually impossible to discern. She also noted confidentiality is provided to the best degree possible.
“You really can’t judge by what you see on the surface,” said Smith by phone Nov. 15.
“Last year I believe we did 43 hampers. That was a big year for us.”
The hampers originally were a turkey dinner, but the program has grown a bit since then. “We give a gift to every child,” said Smith who also noted all groceries are purchased locally at the Millet Fresh Market.
Local schools also pitch in by collecting toys during Christmas concerts, and local youth groups are invited by the Millet Lions to help wrap gifts for the hampers.
Smith said guest wrappers are given a gender and age, and then allowed to pick and wrap a gift from those available for that particular child.
After nominations forms have been finalized, a distribution night is picked by the Lions Club. Volunteers are welcome to help, but the Lions ask that adults only attend; no kids.
This holiday season, the Lions Christmas hamper program will also benefit from the “Collect & Connect the Millet Food Chain” campaign; chain links are available for only a $5 donation at many locations in Millet.
The nomination forms are scheduled to be available the first week of December and nomination forms can be dropped off at the Town of Millet office on or before Dec. 16. Cash collection and food/toy donation boxes will be placed around town soon. The wrapping night will be Friday, Dec. 16 at the Millet Lions Club, the distribution night will be the following Friday, Dec. 23.