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Community comes together for basket giveaway

"It's a wonderful thing to be able to help those in need," said Olivia Knight. The Corinth High School junior was among the many volunteers who offered a helping hand during Saturday's Christmas Basket giveaway.

Staff photo by Zack Steen

"We live in such a generous community," said Orma Smith, as he directed cars and trucks through the pickup line outside the Crossroads Arena on Saturday.

As he tried to understand why local people are so passionate about giving, Smith added, "I think it's our need to care for our fellow man "" to want to help those who truly need help."

Local groups and organizations work countless hours throughout the year to give back in various ways, and at Christmastime the philanthropy spikes.

For the Corinth Rotary Club, Saturday was their most important day of the year.

Around 1,000 boxes, full of everything from paper towels to a bag of Red Delicious apples, were passed along to those less fortunate during the 23rd Annual Corinth Rotary Club / Daily Corinthian Christmas Basket food program giveaway.

The baskets were given away in good faith as fundraising efforts continue.

A little over $10,990 is still needed before the program reaches the fully funded amount of $23,000.

About 100 volunteers were on site Saturday morning to make the Christmas basket giveaway happen. Included in the mix were veteran Rotary members, like Smith, students from local high schools and several Boy Scout troops.

Twelve-year-old Troop 27 Boy Scout Mason Hall said he likes to help because, "I don't like sitting around the house when I know people in my hometown are in need."

For weeks leading up to Saturday, residents in need throughout the community applied for to receive a basket. Inside were all non perishables including canned and dry vegetables, canned meat, fruit, bread, flour, sugar and candy products from Long Wholesale and paper products donated by Kimberly-Clark.

It takes an enormous effort to make the food program happen each holiday season with volunteers physically organizing, assembling and distributing the boxes.

Returning to volunteer for the fourth year in a row, Alcorn Central High School senior John Mask said he loves being able to assist underprivileged families during the holidays.

"We sometimes take things for granted, but it's important to know that there are so many people in our community who are struggling," said Mask. "It's a wonderful thing to be able to bless them with things they can really use."

The community can help with the project by providing donations that help pay for the baskets. Donations can be made "in honor of" or "in memory of" a special person(s) and this tribute will be published daily in the Daily Corinthian.

In the past, people have paid tribute to special friends or family members who have passed, or honored co-workers, family or friends for their community service.

Financial donations can be brought by the newspaper office, located at 1607 South Harper Road, or mailed to: Daily Corinthian, Attn: Christmas Basket Fund, P.O. Box 1800, Corinth, MS 38835.