Plainfield Lions Christmas 'Baskets' Reach 131 Families

Baskets of goodies have given way to gift certificates, but the Lions continue to serve those in need.

The Plainfield Lions Club stops to pose for a photo Dec. 14 before distributing its 2013 Christmas "baskets" to families in need. Credit: Submitted photo
The Plainfield Lions Club stops to pose for a photo Dec. 14 before distributing its 2013 Christmas "baskets" to families in need. Credit: Submitted photo
Submitted 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 66th 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 656 people, its largest outreach in history.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Plainfield Lions Club and its caring heart,” said event chairman, Larry Wiers. Wiers has chaired the Christmas “Basket” program for the past 15 years.  

In those 15 years, the Plainfield Lions Club has touched more than 7,000 people in in 1,450 families with $153,000 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 $16,200 in 2013.  

“The Plainfield Lions Club is committed to helping those most in need in the Plainfield area, especially during these very difficult times,” said Wiers.

Wiers said the organization conducts fund-raisers 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.  Fund-raisers 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 on Saturday, December 14, 2013 providing a total of 131 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, ‘It took a large burden off my shoulders and was able to see pure joy on the faces of my children. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 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.”

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