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Our View: Generosity triumphs with Christmas Basket

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Ward Faulkenberry would be grateful.
The Christmas charity that bears his name blew the top off its $10,000 goal with a last-minute surge of donations, raising $12,660 through Dec. 23 with a week still to go before the drive’s year-end close.
There have been 129 donations so far this year, helping nearly 750 Lancaster County residents with boxes of food for a Christmas meal and stockings full of gifts. The recipients were selected through the  Department of Social Services, the Lancaster County Council on Aging, other agencies and churches.
Many thanks to all of you who gave so generously to the 56th-annual drive. And a huge tip of the hat to Bekah Clawson and the other folks at HOPE (Helping Other People Effectively), the Lancaster nonprofit that has  been leading the effort since 2008.
The Christmas fund started in 1959, when Faulkenberry and more than 400 other members of American Legion Post 31 went door to door collecting canned goods to make sure no one went hungry that Christmas. It has continued ever since. In 2000, after Faulkenberry died, the fund was renamed in his honor, and first the Salvation Army, then the Red Cross, and now HOPE have worked to continue it. The Lancaster News is honored to help by passing the hat on our pages every year.
The totals aren’t in yet for the 2015 drive. Any money remaining after meeting this year’s needs will be a head start on next year’s drive, which will start in October.
Meanwhile, let’s keep the generous spirit going. The Lancaster Area Coalition for the Homeless opens its winter warming center tomorrow night. Volunteers are still needed to provide meals and to staff the center each night through February.
We urge you to donate time or money to this much-needed cause. If you can help, call Gina Amato at (803) 804-8819.