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Help needed to distribute Janesville area Thanksgiving baskets

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
November 16, 2011
— If you want to help less fortunate families celebrate a happier Thanksgiving, ECHO would welcome your help.

The local nonprofit, faith-sponsored charity is preparing to distribute Thanksgiving baskets to more than 1,100 low-income local families Saturday.


Here are five things you need to know about the effort:


1. Decorate grocery bags. Brown paper grocery bags, in which dry goods will be packed, still need to be decorated. Bags can be picked up at the ECHO office, 65 S. High St., and returned by noon Friday, Nov. 18. It’s a fun project for students, youth groups, families, individuals, co-workers and organizations, said Marge Sell, ECHO resource coordinator.


2. Bake cookies and bars. Volunteer bakers are needed to make cookies and bars and package them by the dozen in sealable plastic bags. Baked goods can be dropped of at the ECHO office between 9 a.m. and noon Friday or between 7 and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Craig Center at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 Craig Ave., Janesville.


3. Donate money. Cash and credit card donations still are needed to buy groceries for the baskets. A $30 donation will provide a family with a turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, apple juice, canned vegetables, fruit cocktail, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, margarine, milk and a loaf of bread.


Checks should be payable to ECHO Thanksgiving and dropped off at the ECHO office before noon Friday. VISA, MasterCard and DISCOVER also are accepted.


4.Volunteer your time. Volunteers are needed at 7 a.m. Saturday to load groceries at the West Court Street Sentry and set them up at the fairgrounds. More volunteer are needed at 8 a.m. to pack groceries for distribution. Another group of volunteers is needed at 10 a.m. to help with food distribution, including helping clients pick up and carry their food.


About 200 volunteers have signed up, but many more are needed, Sell said. To help, call the ECHO office, (608) 754-5333 and ask for Fran Brien, volunteer coordinator. Those who don’t call may still show up Saturday to help, Sell said.


“There’s always something to do with this many people in need,’’ she said.


5. Apply for assistance. If you are a local family in need, you have until noon Friday to sign up for help at the ECHO office.



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