Red Men food boxes to help 'friends and neighbors'

Several of the people who came to the club Monday had recently fallen on hard times

December 22, 2010|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Charlie Boward and Tim Fraker load a van Wednesday with sixteen boxes of Christmas meals from the The Improved Order of Red Men in Williamsport. The group provided 125 free boxes of food.
Kevin G. Gilbert

WILLIAMSPORT — Hagerstown resident Amy Rhodes was grateful to get a free box of food from the Williamsport Improved Order of Red Men on Wednesday.

She said the contents, which included a turkey, gravy, potatoes and pumpkin pie, would allow her to make Christmas dinner for her family.

"I think that it's nice that they're helping people," Rhodes said. "These are hard times for everyone right now."

Rhodes was one of 125 people who came to the Red Men's club at 16129 Lappans Road from 10 a.m. to noon to receive a box of food.

Charlie Boward, chairman of the Food Basket Committee, said the Red Men collected $3,600 over the last year by holding events such as shuffleboard to buy the food. He said they raised an additional $3,350 to buy gift certificates from Old Navy and Toys R Us.

"We're out to help our friends and neighbors," Boward said. "At this time of year, people need food."

Boward said food basket recipients were required to get vouchers from the Williamsport Food Bank or the Parent-Child Center in Hagerstown.

The inside of the club was filled with tables covered with food. About 20 volunteers helped carry the food from the building to the recipients' vehicles.

"They come to the door, and we haul it out to the car for them," Boward said.

Like several of the people who came to the Red Men Club on Monday, Hagerstown resident Betty Werry said she recently fell on hard times.

She said she looks forward to giving back to the community when she gets on her feet.

"Every little bit helps when the economy is tough," she said. "I think this is a wonderful program."  

Hagerstown resident C.J. Justice said he heard about the food boxes being donated through the Williamsport Food Bank.

Justice, who is disabled, said he planned to prepare the food and eat the leftovers for several days.

"I think events like this are good, especially during these times as tough as the economy is now," he said. "It shows a lot of caring."

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