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Annual Christmas Basket drive seeks donations to help families

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By Jesef Williams

Many families in need of financial support will benefit from an annual fund that provides assistance during the holidays.

The Ward Faulkenberry Memorial Christmas Basket is up and going and has raised more than $300 in the first few days of the 2007 campaign.

The fund, sponsored by the local American Red Cross, provides food vouchers to local families that can be used to buy groceries at local stores.

The money is given to Christian Services, the Lancaster County Department of Social Services and the Lancaster County Council on Aging. Those three entities identify the families in need and distribute the vouchers.

The drive, now in its 48th year, was first sponsored by the American Legion Post No. 31.

The fund is named after its founder, the late Ward Faulkenberry, former athletics officer and commander of American Legion Post No. 31.

The local Red Cross has sponsored the basket the last five years.

This year's drive kicked off Monday.

Director Teresa Ackerman says the agency hasn't set a goal this year for an amount they would like to collect.

"We'll do the best we can with what comes in," Ackerman said. "The money helps a lot of families. It really makes a difference."

For details or to contribute to the fund, call the American Red Cross office at 283-4072.

Contact Jesef Williams

at 283-1152 or

jwilliams@thelancasternews.com