During the mid-1970s, a gift exchange in a Galway elementary school class took place where a girl wanted to save her gift to open on Christmas Day. When asked by a classmate why she wanted to save the gift, she said, “It will be my only Christmas gift.” On hearing this, the teacher was so moved that she put a student in charge of the class while she went to the teachers who had the girl’s siblings. Teachers always bring extra gifts just in case any children forget to bring theirs. So extra gifts were collected and sent home.
One classmate, Rebecca Wood, told her mother all about what happened. Rebecca’s father, David, and their pastor, Rev. Earl Johnson of the Charlton United Presbyterian Church, paid the family a visit to bring them a Christmas basket.
They were surprised by what they found. The house located on a dirt road was heated by a barrel filled with paper and wood scraps. It also served as a cook stove. This situation so moved Rebecca’s mother, Connie, that through the help of Liz Feulner and the Greater Galway Community Services Association, the food baskets given by area churches and the fire departments were coordinated into a community-wide service. Now you know the story of how Galway’s Christmas Basket Project got its start. The whole community comes together to reach out to our less fortunate neighbors. Each basket costs approximately $150 and around 100 families are served each year.
Winter 2010, Issue Three: Page 6