By Scott Bolthouse
December 21, 2015 — The media center at Huron High School in New Boston is generally a quiet place where a student can study, check out a book, or maybe use a computer to get some work done.
On Sunday, the atmosphere was different as the Huron Township Goodfellows, Rotarians, and dozens of volunteers from the Huron community converged on the media center to fill hundreds of care packages for families who need a little extra light shined on them this holiday season.
Stacked high in the library were countless amounts of toys — separated by age and gender — that will make their way into the hands of 110 families.
During the packaging process, volunteers were assigned a family to shop for and, depending on the amount of children in each family, they selected from mountains of donated toys and age-appropriate items. Hats, gloves and scarves were also included in the packages to make sure the children stay warm during the winter.
At the same time, in the hallway outside of the media center, an assembly line of people filled boxes with donated food items that will complete a full holiday care package for each family.
“We served 110 families with gifts and food. The Program was a huge success,” said R.P. Lilly, trustee and rotary member.
“The successful planning and organization of this program is largely due to efforts of the three co-chairs of the Goodfellows Program; Helena Lilly, Pam Stano, and Terry Riopelle. They spend countless hours of their personal time putting all the parts and pieces together, and they are now beginning to plan for the 2016 Program. Also many thanks go out the citizens and students of our community for their efforts,” Lilly said.
The holiday care program has been ongoing for the past 20 years, and each year, it seems to grow larger thanks to the numerous residents, organizations and businesses that donate to the cause.
The families selected to receive the care packages were first notified of the program during parent teacher conferences earlier in the year at all Huron schools. A profile was created for each family that applied, who were given a control number so that they remained anonymous during the whole process.
Later Sunday, after the packaging and organizing of the food and toys was completed, the families arrived to pick up the items using their anonymous number.
Even though the busiest time of the year for the Goodfellows is from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the people who make this happen collect toys, toiletries, and other items all year round. To donate your time, items, or for more information about the Goodfellows and what they do, visit www.hurontownshiprotary.org/Goodfellows.html.
Goodfellows holiday toy and food packaging. Photos by Scott Bolthouse.