The generosity of Chillicothe and the surrounding area once again “delivered” for Community Needs Agency (CNA) allowing it to provide not only Christmas Dinner baskets to local residents in need but also to serve clients throughout the year. CNA Board President Darlene Kumpf was quick to offer the agency’s appreciation for the support.

“We want to offer a huge ‘thank you’ to people in the Chillicothe area for making this possible,” said Kumpf.  “People here are always quick to step up and help those in need.  We set an ambitious goal this year -$40,000 - and there were times we weren’t sure we would reach it.  But as usual, Chillicothe came through . . . and we can’t thank everyone enough.”

On December 15, volunteers assembled Christmas Dinner baskets that allowed 110 local families to have a full, balanced holiday meal.  Baskets also included candy, toys for children and for some, blankets or winter coats, hats and mittens.   

A number of local agencies and organizations collected food.  Financial donations came in the form of checks dropped off or mailed to CNA, money in kettles at local merchants and money in buckets at the Chillicothe Kroger store.

Executive Director Theresa Meister echoed Kumpf’s thoughts.  “We are always impressed with the generosity of local residents,” said Meister.  “CNA only asks for support in the last two months of the year.  A lot of groups get involved with everything from bellringing to food and coat collections. It’s a great effort . . . and so many are helped.”

CNA offers thanks to the following:

• The IVC Everyday Leadership Class for organizing non-perishable food collection.  Young people recognized the need and took the initiative to make sure plenty of food was collected for the Christmas baskets. Mossville Cub Scout Pack 50 and local grade schools collected thousands of canned and boxed goods.

• Local merchants who allowed a CNA collection kettle in their business including Geiger’s True Value Hardware, Caseys, Circle K North, Circle K South, Beck’s, Track Inn, Subway and Short Loin.

• Volunteer bellringers at the Chillicothe Kroger store.

• Chillicothe Kroger store for allowing the bellringers and its overall support.

• Chillicothe Optimist Club for its Gift Giving Tree which collects toys and gifts to accompany the Christmas Dinner baskets.

• Chillicothe Altrusa Club that provided bags of candy to be included in each dinner basket.

• Volunteers from the Chillicothe Fire Department and the Chillicothe Fire District who delivered dinner baskets to families who were not able to pick them up December 15.

• LaPrairie Presbyterian Church’s Blanket Brigade that provides handmade blankets for those in need.

• Busey Bank, CEFCU, Associated Bank and Better Banks that collected winter apparel.

• Churches, civic, veterans and other organizations that helped get out the CNA message and otherwise helped in collecting food, clothes, money or other items.

• All those who donated time, money, food, clothes or in any way supported the CNA effort.  

“Support for CNA and its mission says a lot about Chillicothe,” said Kumpf.  “This area is blessed with people who have a caring heart and are willing to share what they have with others. Annual support of CNA is a perfect way to do that.”

The CNA Christmas Basket Drive is the agency’s most visible activity but it continues to serve local residents in need throughout the year. Families and individuals who meet strict guidelines and reside within the IVC School District boundaries may receive emergency assistance with rent, food or utilities. CNA also provides back-to-school backpacks, spring cleaning supplies, and assistance to seniors with home repairs. It also directs clients to resources available from other agencies and provides programs for individual self-improvement.  

Tax-deductible donations are accepted year-round at the CNA office at 418 Wilmot Street or by mailing to CNA, PO Box 103, Chillicothe, IL 61523.

Final donations listing include:

In memory of Nicholas Flagg. Chuck and Pat Flagg, $300

In lieu of exchanging gifts with each other. Bob and Diane Streibich, $1000

Rex and Debra Newton, $150

Leo and Roxanne Vandervlugt, $100

Troy and Kathy Cutler, $1000

George Washington Lodge 222, $175

The Hedden Charitable Trust, $7000

Anonymous, $1500

In memory of Pete McAllister. Steve and Jeannine McAllister, $50

Anonymous, $50

Merry Christmas. Tonya, Andy, Abby and AJ Boyle, $50

Bob and Joyce Close, $50

Terry and Sharon Evans, $250

In remembrance of Howard, Bill, Fran and Peg who are so dearly missed and never forgotten. Gary and Cheryl Schlosser, $25

John Chirchirillo, $50

Bruce Engbrecht, Dennis Chirchirillo, $50

Paul and Carol Aaron, $50

In memory of Ben Tiller. Mark and Marcy Ely, $50

Bud and Carol Ritter, $100

Larry and Brenda Stewart, $100

Todd Lenz, $50

Chilli Chix, $280

Busey Bank, $500

Nancy and Lowell Bennett, $100

Larry and Amy Hasfjord, $50

In loving memory of my husband, Gwen O. Kirchner. June Kirchner, $150

First United Methodist Church, $185

Lois Doubet, $100

Mossville United Methodist Church Love Fund, $1060.56

Ron Noe, $10

First United Methodist Church Mens Club, $500