As they have for decades, volunteers will gather to sort thousands of canned goods to fill the Community Needs Agency Christmas baskets for those in need this holiday season. CNA basket distribution is set for 7 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 16, at Illinois Valley Central High School.

Many families and local groups and organizations have made the distribution an annual holiday event. CNA executive director Theresa Meister invites everyone to volunteer at the distribution, an event brimming with holiday spirit. Simply come to the distribution to be assigned a task. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

Donations of canned goods are still needed with barrels at local schools and throughout the community. The canned goods are collected Dec. 15 for the distribution. On Saturday, volunteers sort the canned goods, then begin filling baskets by “shopping” for the specific needs of each family or individual recipient.

CNA continues to collect new and gently used winter wear to be available for those in need at the distribution. Winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves in all sizes -infants to adults are needed and may be dropped off at any Chillicothe financial institution. South Side Bank, Better Banks, Associated Bank and CEFCU are ready to accept all donations.

The CNA Christmas Basket Drive provides a full Christmas dinner as well as pantry items for those in need, but also funds activities throughout the entire year. The CNA Board has set a $45,000 fundraising goal to meeting the not-for-profit agency’s needs for the coming year. CNA offers emergency assistance for utilities, rent and other necessities 365 days a year. The CNA holiday fundraiser additionally brings in much needed revenue to fund programs such as the high school equivalency program, Community Garden, Spring Cleaning Buckets, School Backpack Project and more.

Christmas Basket donations may be mailed to CNA, P.O. Box 103, Chillicothe, IL 61523 or dropped off at the Chillicothe Kroger Bucket Brigade, scheduled to be in place in the store foyer through Christmas. Counter Kettles can be found throughout the city at Circle K South and North service stations, Becks service station, Happy Thought Coffee, Geiger’s True Value, Track Inn, American Legion Post 9 and VFW Post 4999.

Donations may also be dropped off at the Community Needs Agency office at 418 W. Wilmot St., Chillicothe, IL 61523, during the regular office hours of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon. Donations may also be coordinated through Meister by calling CNA at 309-274- 6333.



Christmas comes one time a year as does the Community Needs Agency single fundraiser, the Christmas Basket Drive. Bells are ringing for the CNA Bucket Brigade at Kroger, and CNA Counter Kettles have been placed throughout the city to make dropping off donations convenient. Kettles are located at Geiger’s True Value, Circle K North and South gas stations, Beck’s gas station, Happy Thought Coffee, VFW Post 4999, American Legion Post 9 and Track Inn. Money raised supports CNA financial assistance to those in need of a hand as well as all of the programs offered by CNA, including the CNA Christmas Baskets. Donations to the Christmas Basket Drive may also be mailed to CNA, P. O. Box 103, Chillicothe.

Thank you for your generosity.

The Community Needs Agency board, its executive director, and the many, many recipients of services are grateful for the following donations:

Jim and Chris Wright, $100

Mike Carroll, $50

Doug and Nancy Crew, $250

Earl and Linda Woodall, $100

Barb O’Connor, $20

Reny Brothers Roofing, $600

Maria LaPayne, $50

In memory of family and friends gone but not forgotten. Bill and Edie Nimmo, $100

In memory of Maxine Stratton. Anonymous, $100

Rosene Schielein, $500

Cheryl Tucker, $100

Mitze Nitzsche, $100

John and Kathy Abbott, $100

South Side Bank, $500

In memory of our deceased loved ones. Mark and Kathy Allard, $50