Photo Essay: Christmas Outreach volunteers serve 638 families this holiday season

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season was matched by the hustle and bustle of those who donated their time and items to Christmas Outreach.

Mount Pleasant City Police Officer Justin Nau helps unload donated items from a van Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus.

Mount Pleasant resident Eileen Jennings, 77, points out additional work to be done during Christmas Outreach set-up Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. Jennings has been involved in Christmas Outreach for 25 years.

Local businesses and schools donated toys for children, toiletries for adults, and miscellaneous items that may occasionally be overlooked when purchasing items for donation, like window scrapers to clear ice off car windows.

Shepherd resident Jan Heatherington, 70, and Mount Pleasant resident Claire DiMaria, 47, organize toiletries for adult stockings Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. "It's well worth it," Heatherington says.

Mount Pleasant resident Jerry DiMaria, 46, and his son Lukas, 12, organize writing utensils for stockings while volunteering for Christmas Outreach Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. DiMaria's wife, Claire, 47, also helped organize items for stockings.

The dedication was so thorough, Mount Pleasant resident Eileen Jennings, 77, says each stocking that volunteers filled was hand-sewn. According to volunteer Carole Ford from the William Strickler Pantry, over 500 stockings were filled for distribution.

Children's stockings lay in wait for their distribution Dec. 6 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. Volunteers created over 500 stockings, according to Carole Ford with the William Strickler Pantry.

Mount Pleasant resident Mickey Claus, 51, helps organize coats Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. "I can't imagine my family not having coats," she says. "These winters keep getting colder, so if I can help..."

Gail Moore, Secretary on the Christmas Outreach board said it’s nearly impossible to figure out how many people donate items to the cause.

“People will come in and bring a load of coats,” Moore says. “They don’t sign up or do anything they just bring in Christmas stuff.”

Mount Pleasant resident Ray Johnson, 81, adjusts the height of a coat rack at Christmas Outreach Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus.

Sacred Heart Academy student Michael Hopp, 18, carries holiday items to a distribution table Dec. 6 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus. Hopp is one of 32 volunteers from Sacred Heart Academy that helped during the Dec. 6 distribution period.

Mount Pleasant resident Jan Johnson, 77, cuts tags off of winter jackets donated to Christmas Outreach Dec. 3 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus.

Beal City high school and Sacred Heart Academy students helped prepare items at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University’s campus before Christmas Outreach opened its doors Dec. 6-7. Sacred Heart Academy teacher Karon Latham, 46, also brought 32 of her students with her to volunteer Dec. 6 during the event’s first distribution period.

Christmas Outreach served 638 families this year; 1247 adults and 869 children, up from 500 families in 2018.

Alma resident Tina Campbell, 41, helps distribute items during Christmas Outreach Dec. 6 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus.

Sacred Heart Academy teacher Karon Latham, 46, helps Christmas Outreach participants find holiday items Dec. 6 at Finch Fieldhouse on Central Michigan University's campus.
 

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