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Milltown Legion, YSB students team up to bring happy holiday

December 28, 2011
Several Milltown area families will have plenty of food on the table this holiday season, thanks to the Milltown American Legion and the Crawford County Youth Service Bureau.

Milltown American Legion Post 332, through fundraisers and donations this year, accumulated extra cash to buy enough groceries to put together 30 food boxes for area families. Once the shopping was done and the food organized, several student volunteers from the YSB came to the Legion's facility in downtown Milltown and helped put the food baskets together on Dec. 15.

Jaden Wilfong, of Marengo, moves a box of groceries at Milltown American Legion Post 332. He was one of several volunteers, including students from the Crawford County Youth Service Bureau, who helped get food boxes ready for delivery to 30 families in the area. More than 200 bags of candy and other treats also were made ready to give to area children the following day. Photo by Lee Cable
"This is great," said Eddie Wetzel, a veteran and a member of the Legion, as the students arrived. "I wasn't expecting this many kids to show up and help."

Throughout the year, the Legion makes a list of people in the community who need a little help. This year, they determined that about 30 families in the area could use extra groceries and shopped accordingly. By Dec. 15, they had several tables loaded with everything from sugar, flour and canned goods to fruit, paper products and even a ham for each basket. That evening, volunteers from the YSB showed up in force to help organize and pack the boxes with groceries.

"We set this up to start at 6 p.m. and hoped to be finished packing the boxes by 9 o'clock," Wetzel said. "But we've only been working about 45 minutes, and the YSB kids have most of the boxes ready. These kids are hard workers, and we really appreciate their help."

Once the boxes were packed with groceries and ready for delivery, the YSB students began helping Legion members Kathy Johnson, Mary Kintner, Joyce Young and others put together 200 bags of candy and treats that would be given to kids the following day during a visit to the Legion by Santa Claus.

"We had a good turnout the next day when Santa came," Wetzel said. "We had a toy and bag of treats for every kid, and every little kid enjoyed it. One little fellow got a Hot Wheels race track and was really excited about it. Just seeing that makes it all worth it. It makes us proud of our American Legion. We always try to help the community. We put on a big Halloween bash. We participate in the Milltown Festival every year. We try to help keep kids off the street and out of trouble. And we enjoy doing it."

After the Santa Claus visit, Legion members loaded the food boxes and delivered them to local families.

"A lot of people need help now," Johnson said. "Some are having a hard time making it. So, this could help make their Christmas a little better."

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