Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Plainfield Lions Club:
The Plainfield Lions Club, in one of its many community outreach programs, spent the holidays giving out goodies to families in need as part of its annual Christmas “Basket” program. The Plainfield Lions Club is now in its 65th year of serving the local community.
Over the years, actual baskets of food have given way to gift certificates from Jewel foods, but the club still prides itself on providing holiday feasts for area families in need. This year the Lions gave to 651 people, its largest outreach in history.
“I’m incredibly proud of our Club and its caring heart,” said event chairman Larry Wiers.
Wiers has chaired the Christmas “Basket” program for the past 14 years. In those 14 years, the Plainfield Lions Club has touched close to 7,000 people in nearly 1,300 families with $137,725 in food gift certificates.
As the Plainfield area has grown, so has the number of families in need. The Plainfield Lions has responded to that call by increasing its “basket” allocation from $2,221 in 1999 to $14,200 in 2012.
“The Plainfield Lions Club is committed to helping those most in need in the Plainfield area, especially during these incredibly difficult times” said Wiers.
Wiers said the organization conducts fundraisers throughout the year to fuel the Christmas “Basket” program as well as other outreach efforts such as the free spaghetti dinner for seniors and providing glasses and eye care to those in need. Fundraisers include a spring dinner/silent auction, a summer golf outing, a fall candy drive and the popular nut sale during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
A crew of 30 Lion members and friends delivered the gift certificates to families on Saturday, Dec. 15, providing a total of 124 families with holiday feasts.
“The response we get from the families is truly heartwarming,” said Wiers. “One family told us that ‘it is the first time we have smiled in a long, long time.' Another shared, ‘I am so thankful that we live in the Plainfield community. Please tell the Lions Club that I now know there is a God.’ And yet another recipient, holding back tears, told us, ‘This is an answer to my prayers. Now we will have a Christmas.’”
Said Wiers, “We know we have touched them in a very real way and hopefully lightened their burden during this holiday season.”