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Deadline for Thanksgiving Help from Crosslines Nears; Volunteers Needed

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Joe Goldberg
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Friday, October 26, is the deadline to apply for a Thanksgiving food basket from Crosslines.  The service of the Council of Churches gives out ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal such as ham or turkey, potatoes and cranberry sauce as well as either breakfast or lunch to those at or below the poverty level.

Baskets will be handed out to those who have applied by Friday's deadline and who meet certain criteria during a distribution event on November 17 at the Central Assembly of God Fusion Center.

Wes Buchholz, program coordinator for Crosslines, said 25 percent of Springfield and Greene County residents live at or below the poverty line.  They're served by the organization's food pantry year round, five days a week, but he said being able to give their families a Thanksgiving and Christmas is important, too.

"They don't have the means to provide for their family the way that they see or maybe even the way that they grew up having the holidays provided for them, and it can be an especially difficult time of year.  You know, you really start to feel down on yourself if you can't buy your kid toys for Christmas," he said.

It's important for the community to show them that there are people who care, he added.

Crosslines also offers help with toys and gifts at Christmas as well as food baskets.  A holiday distribution will be held December 15 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

They partner with organizations that want to adopt families at Christmas and work with other organizations that provide holiday assistance to avoid duplication of services.

Crosslines also coordinates Share Your Christmas, which features local families/individuals and their needs in the News-Leader, and they partner with KTTS for their Christmas Crusade, which benefits clients of Crosslines, Least of These and Ambassadors for Children.

And Crosslines runs its own adoption program around the holidays for individuals and groups wanting to help.

All of those services rely on volunteers, according to Buchholz.  

"The folks that are taking the applications are volunteers.  The folks that are calling the families to get more information about them are volunteers.  And then, you know, on the actual day of our events we've got somewhere between 500 and 800 volunteers will be there to help us make that day work," he said.

Monetary donations are always welcome, too, he said.

Find out more about the holiday help that Crosslines offers and how you can volunteer or donate at crosslinesholiday.org.