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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton finalizes basket project

Several volunteers finish wrapping up baskets and gifts at last year’s Basket Project. Submitted Photo.

With Christmas fast approaching, organizers of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Christmas Basket Project have been preparing for the project taking place the weekend of Dec. 13-15.

This project all started in 1982 with one family. In recent years, the project provided food and gifts to up to 160 needy families from the area. This year, they’re providing for 140 families. The families consist of 440 people in all and 120 pets.

The Basket Project works with a few different companies, including Nestle Purina, Big Lots and the Pet Pantry. Big Lots has donated additional money for years, so if the volunteers go there to shop they can get some extra gifts. Nestle Purina donates cat and dog food to the Pet Pantry and the pantry then donates vouchers to the baskets.

“Money can get tight during this time of year, so we’re really grateful for the donations from Purina. The pets have to eat too!” said Carol Smith, project coordinator.

The Christmas Basket Project relies on the donations from the community to support this tremendous endeavor. Approximately $10,000 needs to be raised to fund the project. At this time, food, monetary and gift donations are still being accepted and are greatly needed in order to successfully complete the Christmas Basket Project.

The baskets will be put together and distributed this weekend at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, 336 Washington Ave. in Dunkirk. Today at 6 p.m., food and gifts will be sorted. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, gifts will be purchased and wrapped. At 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, the baskets will be finished and distributed. Many hands are needed for all of the three dates. Families, teams, groups and individuals are most welcome!

“We rely on contributions from the community, which has been so generous over the years,” said Smith.

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Christmas Basket Project organizers would like to thank everyone for their generosity in making the Christmas Basket Project a success. If you are interested in making a donation or helping with this most rewarding service project, please contact Smith at 410-0504.

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