For the sixth year in a row, the management team from Ecumen Meadows recently volunteered for Nobles County Christmas Basket Project – gathering donations and filling baskets for the needy. 

In the late 1920s, the Worthington, Minn., community came together to make sure the poorest of the poor in Nobles County had food and gifts for Christmas.  Bushel baskets were filled with home-canned foods and delivered to the poor. The program continued, year after year, getting bigger and better.  The bushel baskets are now shopping carts, filled with a wide range of food, clothes and toys.

“This is a phenomenal community project,” says Nancy Garvin, Executive Director at Ecumen Meadows. “Everybody pulls together.”

School children conduct drives.  High school students sell treats to raise money. Churches appeal for donations, and musicians hold benefit concerts.  It’s an all-volunteer community effort, with no paid staff or government funds.

The American Reformed Church serves as the distribution center. This year 317 families with a total of 1,500 individuals are recipients of the goodwill of Worthington community members.

“It’s just fantastic to be a part of this,” Nancy says.  “It’s an incredible event.”