Tristan Maschino (left) and Derrick Maxie wrap some last minute gifts that were distributed during Saturday’s Crothersville FFA Holiday Toy & Food delivery.
As school let out for Christmas break on Friday, members of the Crothersville FFA went to work to sort the nearly 7.3 tons of food that they distributed Saturday morning during the 26th annual Toy & Food Drive. FFA members, including Indiana FFA State Officers, along with members from the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, and local FFA supporters, delivered the non-perishable food items & toys to the underprivileged in the community. “Along with the 96 families who received food items, 164 fruit baskets were delivered to others as a way of just saying that we were thinking of them during this time of year that might prove difficult for them as they have lost a loved one or may just not have family here for the holidays,” said FFA Advisor Linda Begley. To raise enough money, go and purchase the food, sort it, and then deliver it all while ending a semester with educational projects and final exams, is no easy task, she said. “FFA members relinquish their time away from family and shopping to help those in the community,” she said. When asked why she does this, FFA President Madison Isenhower said, “The Toy & Food Drive has a special place in my heart. I love to see everyone’s smiling faces and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside to see them happy. I remember one year the joy that a fruit basket brought to a woman’s heart. Our small acts of kindness brought love to that woman for the holiday season, and that’s why I enjoy the Toy and Food Drive.” Chapter Vice President, Deven Lemen added, “One time I delivered food to someone’s house, and as I carried it in, the children bypassed the toys and ran to me and smiled as they said, ‘Wow, look at all this food.’ That pulled at my heartstrings and that’s why I do the Toy and Food Drive.” Fund raising was more difficult this year. “Our chapter officers have worked very hard this year to raise the money needed to pull off the annual drive,” said Begley. “We just don’t get the donations from the community like we use to. Businesses, churches, and other civic organizations are strapped for cash with their own projects.” The local FFA was able to secure funds & donations from corporate sponsors: Aisin Drivetrain, Aisin Chemical IN, Jackson-Jennings Co-Op, Walmart, Land O’Lakes, and Bowman Chrysler, Beglaey said. “This sponsorship is never a sure bet and we can only hope that we continue to find these donors to make sizable contributions to continue this holiday tradition,” she said. About half of the money used to purchase the food comes from the chapters annually sponsored Craft Show in November, she added.