Mid Sioux Opportunities of Cherokee handed out Christmas packages to needy families around Cherokee County on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23. Each package contained the basics for a holiday dinner - turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberries, pancake mix and other items to make Christmas possible for many families.
According to Mid-Sioux Opportunity Director Joan Forcier, there has been a rise in the number of clients at Mid-Sioux but the community has stepped up and helped out, including many churches, businesses, social groups and many individuals not just from Cherokee but also from all the communities in the county. Plus, many of the schools have contributed to the food bank. Forcier would like to thank everyone who has helped out this Holiday Season.
"A lot of people think of us during the Holidays, but we need help year-around" said Forcier. "If we have the support we need, then we can support the people that are in need."
Many of the area businesses have food boxes set up at their businesses and many of their employees bring canned or non-perishable items and at the end of the month they drop the boxes off at Mid-Sioux. Businesses are encouraged to implement a similar program if they don't already have one in place.
There are many area business that have been running promotions/drawings and other venues that benefit Mid-Sioux. Forcier would like to list them all but due to the many donors, she is afraid that she would leave out somebody.
Among the preferable items are things that are not covered by food stamps, such as toilet paper, laundry soap and shampoo. Donations of cash are also expected and every donation stays in Cherokee County to help families here.
Currently, Mid-Sioux has a Christmas tree display at the Sanford Museum as part of the Multiple Listing's Festival of Trees. That tree will be auctioned off and funds raised will go towards Mid-Sioux. The auction is a silent bid and will be on display at the museum until the end of the month.
If you would like to donate items to Mid-Sioux, they are open Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or call 225-3322.
Forcier reminds people that they will accept most any donations. They can't accept meat that has not been federal inspected, and no meats from lockers.
Clothing items are also welcomed such as hats, gloves and coats. Forcier adds, "There is a misconception out there that our clients are lazy and some people comment that maybe they should get a job, but the fact of the matter is that people are working and just trying to survive and every little bit of help adds up."