---- — About 100 Grand Traverse County senior citizens received a special gift this holiday season thanks to generous community support and the Grand Traverse County Commission on Aging.
For the 15th year, the Commission on Aging's "Baskets of Bounty" were delivered to low-income seniors throughout the county. About 14 individuals and eight local organizations donated items for the baskets, which contained non-perishable food, toiletries and paper goods. Community volunteers and Commission on Aging staff assembled and delivered the baskets.
"We're indebted to all of our volunteers and to those who provided donations to the program," said Georgia Durga, director of the Commission on Aging. "Staff, board members and volunteers collaborated to collect items, assemble the baskets and make deliveries. This type of program assures there's plenty of holiday spirit at our office."
Warm socks will help fill Northwest Food Coalition holiday baskets thanks to a successful "Sock It To 'Em" sock drive sponsored by United Way of Northwest Michigan.
Area schools collected more than 2,500 pairs of socks, with Cherry Knoll Elementary School leading the way with more than 1,000 pairs of socks. Cherry Knoll won the $500 award from Macy's, the "Sock It To 'Em" sponsor.
"For our neighbors who can't afford warm socks for their children, this was a perfect time to donate and a wonderful opportunity to show children how easy it is to make a difference in someone's life," said Amanda Hilt, youth and family coordinator at United Way. "The participation by area schools was the best it has been in the past eight years!"
Leelanau Christian Neighbors learned recently that Tom's Food Markets and Miller Amish Chicken will donate 780 pounds of Miller Amish Chicken to LCN's two food pantries.
The holiday gift is part of Tom's and Miller's 5,200-pound chicken donation to seven local food pantries. The LCN portion equals 1,740 meals for food pantries in Suttons Bay and Northport.
Leelanau Christian Neighbors is a volunteer organization that serves its neighbors through its food pantries, the Neighborhood Assistance Ministry and Blessings in a Backpack.
United Way of Manistee County has received 304 toy trucks as part of a total of 15,000 toy trucks donated to the Michigan Association of United Ways by American Plastic Toys, based in Walled Lake.
LyondellBasell donated 12,000 pounds of plastic and American Plastic Toys donated a week's worth of production time to produce the toys and apply stickers that Maple Press donated. E.L. Hollingsworth Co. of Wixom handled transportation.
In Manistee County, the trucks will be distributed by Love INC, FiveCap and the Salvation Army to brighten the holidays for Manistee County families. Trucks also have been placed at the early childhood education programs at Madison School in Manistee and at Leaps and Bounds in Onekama.