Christmas stars, lights

MOUNT VERNON -- The 36th annual Christmas in July is scheduled for Saturday, July 13.

Sponsored by Soroptimist of Mount Vernon & Knox County and the Knox County Sheriff’s office, this event is an opportunity for the community to help restock the pantry shelves in all five Interchurch locations – Centerburg, Bladensburg, Danville, Fredericktown and Mount Vernon.

Collection points across the county make it easy for everyone to participate. Your donation, large or small, has the potential to turn a life around ensuring that every member of each family has the food needed for a healthy life! So, on July 13, look for one of those collection points, or mail your donation to PO Box 1052, Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Remember, every dollar donated purchases $10 worth of food at Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

In 2018, the Interchurch pantries provided service to 7,204 households that included 14,795 individuals. Each household receives 3 meals per day for 3 days, a total of 9 meals. If you do the math, that is 133,155 meals. The summer months are our busiest time. Not so surprising when you think of all the children home from school.

Families that are eligible for free or reduced price lunches (and in some cases, breakfasts) are having to provide those meals for their children during those long summer days. Need truly knows no season.

“Christmas in July is a wonderful opportunity for the local community to support the hungry in Knox County” said Joy Harris, ISS executive director. Residents may bring non-perishable food or monetary donations to collection sites throughout the county. Suggested donations include boxed dinners and sides, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, tuna, canned chicken, pork and beans, and personal care items. Every dollar donated purchases ten dollars’ worth of food at Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Centerburg area collection sites, open from 9:00 am to noon, are Centerburg Post Office, Dollar General, and the Hometown Market. The Interchurch office will be open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and, in addition to accepting donations for the pantry, will have special sales in the thrift store.

In the Danville area, open 9 a.m. to noon, accepting cash donations only, are First-Knox National Bank and Killbuck Savings Bank. Other locations, open from 9 a.m. to 2 pm, are the Bladensburg Community Center, Hometown Market, and the Danville Interchurch office. The Danville Vendors Market, located at the park, will accept donations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Family Dollar will accept donations during the entire month of July.

Christmas in July will once again be a village-wide event in Fredericktown. Hosted by the Fredericktown Merchants, from 4 to 7 p.m., a wide variety of activities are planned including children’s games, a baked goods auction, First Responders equipment exhibit, visits with Santa Claus and more.

For every five food items donated or a $10 donation, you will receive a raffle ticket for a quilt donated by Kathy Toms. WNZR will be broadcasting live from Fredericktown during the evening. Bring the family and check out all the fun! Donations may be dropped off at the Fredericktown office anytime.

In Gambier, donations can be dropped off at the Village Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mount Vernon collection sites include Baker’s IGA, Lanning’s Foods, Mount Vernon Interchurch, and Walmart. Monetary donations will also be accepted that morning at the Farmers Market on the Public Square.

Checks should be made payable to “Christmas in July – ISS” and, if you are unable to get out to a collection point, may be mailed to P.O. Box 1052, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050. For more information call 740-397-4825.