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December 27, 2011 9:22 am

Christmas baskets

Written by Gib Mathers

Jessica Wurzel, 18, of Powell (left) and Leya Goette, 15, an exchange student from Püttlingen Saarland, Germany, fill a car with Christmas basket items. ‘Happy Christmas,’ Goette said. Jessica Wurzel, 18, of Powell (left) and Leya Goette, 15, an exchange student from Püttlingen Saarland, Germany, fill a car with Christmas basket items. ‘Happy Christmas,’ Goette said. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers

148 baskets distributed throughout community this year

From an observer’s point of view, the Christmas Basket Program giveaway seemed to go without a hitch on Friday, just two days before Christmas.

Dave Blevins, chairman of the Powell Council for Community Services, said there were 148 Christmas baskets this year. In 2010, there were 136.

If it takes a small army to haul all the free clothing to Sally’s Boutique that is run by Sally Montoya, then it must be close to a battalion helping to cart the Christmas baskets of food and new toys to the recipients’ cars.

One such servicewoman of goodwill is Jessica Wurzel, 18, of Powell. Wurzel pauses very briefly while loading a shopping cart to calculate her years of service.

“Had to have been at least five or six years,” she said.

Wurzel’s able lieutenant is Leya Goette, an exchange student from Püttlingen Saarland, Germany. “We just roped her into doing this,” Wurzel said.

Goette is not complaining. She smiles often. In fact, smiles appear to be the prevailing facial feature of the volunteers.

Carts are overloaded with food and toys custom purchased for the children in families who signed up for a basket. Stacks of new shoes are there for the taking along with festive red vests, caps, flour and tons of used clothing.

No. 35: A young woman, her arms laden with gifts leads the way to her car.

“Have a wonderful Christmas,” said Wurzel to a departing basket recipient.

“Happy Christmas,” Goette said to another.

The spirit of giving is alive and well in Powell.

Blevins is obliged to the folks in Powell who donate money, clothing and appliances.

“It’s what makes this thing work,” he said.

“We always have a good time,” Wurzel said. “Giving to others — it’s very rewarding.”

1 Comment

  • Comment Link December 28, 2011 9:44 am posted by Mike Carlson

    Great citizenship from the young folks out there!

    Powell's my kinda' town; not right now, but see you in about nine years.

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