Christmas Basket

Boy Scouts Samuel Counce (foreground) and Trey Williams get boxes into the queue for distribution at Saturday morning’s Christmas Basket giveaway.

With just days to go until Christmas, showtime at Crossroads Arena Saturday morning was all about giving.

Corinth Rotarians are joined by students and Boy Scouts each year to carry out the holiday tradition of handing out about 1,000 boxes packed with the makings for some good meals during the holidays.

“It’s really just good to help other people,” said 13-year-old Boy Scout John Orman Jr. “It’s been very fulfilling.”

He said he feels it helps the young participants develop character.

The Corinth Middle School student was among those helping load boxes into vehicles and keeping the food baskets loaded with loaves of bread and other staples.

“We generally have probably 50 to 75 volunteers involved in the whole process, between packing and the distribution, plus the Rotarians,” said Rotary President Ellis Rhett. “We have been successful over the years in getting students from all the different schools in the county, and boy scouts.”

As the long line of cars began to dwindle, the Boy Scouts helped load up the leftovers to be delivered to the AMEN Food Pantry.

“It’s always a blessing to do,” said longtime participant John D. Mercier. “It’s wonderful to have the kids volunteer. They really make it possible.”

The old hands in the effort have plenty of memories of years past, including one tough year at a local industrial building.

“It was raining, it was cold, and we had not figured out the logistics at the time,” recalled Rhett. “We didn’t have people as focused as we needed to be, and we were toting boxes from one end of that building to the other.”

Now, he considers the operation a finely tuned machine. A good bit of the distribution is handled in bulk as various entities pick up batches of boxes.

A joint project of Rotary and the Daily Corinthian, the effort goes forward each year on faith that the community will come through with the needed funds to cover the food costs. Fundraising continues for this year’s goal of $21,000.

Donations to the fund in memory of a loved one or in honor of a living person are encouraged. Contributions may be made at the newspaper office at 1607 South Harper Road or mailed to: Daily Corinthian, Attn: Christmas Basket Fund, P.O. Box 1800, Corinth, MS 38835.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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