Lincoln seeking food, gift donations for families

Lincoln seeking food, gift donations for families

The Giving Tree, decorated by custodian Ron Chudy, is up at Lincoln Town Hall. Donated gifts for Lincoln children ages newborn to 14 years old can be placed under the tree up to Dec. 18. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – Knowing the need is greater than ever, Lincoln town employees have not let the pandemic prevent them from giving back to the community.

Every year, Lincoln’s Planning Department leads the way in collecting donations to help provide holiday meals, gifts and other items to local families who need the help during the holiday season.

Though the distribution process will be a bit different this year, Planning Assistant Peggy Weigner said the program is in full swing, with families expected to pick up their Thanksgiving boxes this week. The boxes will include a turkey and other Thanksgiving staples.

This year, every person in the car during pickup will need to have a mask on. The windows must remain closed, and there needs to be room in the trunk to fit the box.

Each participating family will be given a number to place on their dashboard, coinciding with a number on the town’s list. There are only four volunteers from Town Hall running the program this year due to the pandemic.

With the Thanksgiving basket program wrapping up, attention will soon turn to the town’s winter holiday basket and Giving Tree programs.

In December, the town runs a second holiday basket program, providing families with foods to enjoy over winter vacation. Food donations are being accepted at Town Hall, the library and the senior center.

“This year, we’re staying away from the stuffing, cranberry sauce and those things, and looking more for things like cereal, soup, canned tuna and peanut butter … stuff the kids can eat while they’re home on vacation,” Weigner said.

The town is also putting on its annual Giving Tree program, which seeks to bring holiday cheer to local families by providing new toys and clothes to those experiencing financial difficulties.

Weigner said Lincoln’s Police Union has donated $1,000 toward the program, which will help the town provide a new winter coat to every child on its list.

“Every child is getting a winter coat from us this year,” Weigner said, in addition to a fresh pair of pajamas.

If you’re in a position to help, Weigner said the town is seeking toys and clothes for children ages newborn to 14 years old. There are slips of paper on a board in front of the Giving Tree at Town Hall with each child’s specific age and size, but Weigner said people don’t have to donate to a specific child.

“We will find a home for everything donated,” she said. Toys and games are popular among younger children, while the older children might enjoy Legos or gift cards, she said.

Although the need is greater this year due to COVID-19, so is people’s generosity, Weigner said. “It’s really amazing to see.”

Food and gift donations, as well as monetary donations toward the program, are being accepted until Dec. 18.