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Firefighters Need Help With Christmas Baskets

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The Nelsonville and York Twp. fire departments are asking their communities to donate funds to help them distribute food to those that need it most.

The Christmas basket program started in 1948 when firefighters took 14 food baskets to families who didn’t have enough to make a holiday dinner for themselves and their families.

“They have chicken, bread, milk, cereal, candy, just the basics that someone needs for a family meal,” Pfeiffer said.

Last year, 200 food baskets were delivered and the departments hope they can distribute that many if not more this year. But they need help.

“We could make maybe 100 right now,” said Dan Pfeiffer, public information officer and director of the Athens County 911 Center.

The group received a $3,000 donation from the Rocky Community Foundation, but 200 food baskets cost more than $8,000 last year.

“And that’s all donated by the public,” said Scott McManus, chief of the York Twp. Volunteer Fire Department.

The departments get food from food banks to fill the baskets, but they prefer to receive direct monetary donations, according to Pfeiffer.

“We do what the money allows us to do,” McManus said.

Applications for the baskets are due Dec. 6 and can be obtained at the Nelsonville Water Department and the Nelsonville Fire Department. Only Nelsonville and York Twp. residents are eligible to apply for the baskets, but residents can either apply themselves or fellow residents can apply for them.

“We make the baskets (Dec. 19th) and deliver them on the 20th,” McManus said.

Donations can be brought to the Nelsonville Fire Department, and checks can be made out to “Nelsonville Christmas Baskets.”