NEW LEXINGTON — Thanksgiving, like many holidays, reminds people of what they are thankful for but also, a reminder that some people do not have the necessary items needed in order to live prosperously. For some in Perry County, food can become a scarce resource, making efforts to feed families a larger mission.
People’s State Bank recently held a Thanksgiving Food Drive. The food drive was organized to address a need for families who do not have enough for their own Thanksgiving dinner. Local community members took time to visit one of the five locations throughout the county in order to donate non-perishable food items.
Students at the Saint Rose School also participated in the community event, as instructed by Saint Rose teacher Bernadette Shumaker.
Shumaker is a regular customer at the Peoples State Bank in New Lexington. One day, she noticed an advertisement highlighting the Thanksgiving Food Drive. As part of her students curriculum, it is important for students to practice charity as it is a part of their religious curriculum.
“When I saw the sign in the lobby of the bank I thought — that’s what we will do for one of our service projects,” Shumaker told The Perry County Tribune.
In an effort to help the community, President and CEO of Peoples State Bank Tony Davis explained that the company has a Bank Activities Team dedicated to community service projects to help others in the community.
“We have a Bank Activities Team and each year we hold some type of community service event,” Davis stated. “We hold a lot of events throughout the year.”
The Bank Activities Team’s main goal is to come up with community service activities that benefit community residents. Davis further explained that every year, several times a year, staff working at the bank organizes community service projects such as the Thanksgiving Food Drive.
“This year we decided to open up to our customers, and anyone who wished to come into the bank, to bring in food items for those less fortunate,” Davis commented.
As part of the food drive, all who donated were then entered into a turkey raffle. All of the branches gave out one turkey to one person who donated food to a branch participating in the food drive. Students at Saint Rose were entered in a drawing and won a turkey. The class voted to then donate the turkey back to a needy family as it could complete their Thanksgiving meal. Davis stated that one other person also donated the food back to Saint Vincent de Paul for Thanksgiving.
“It’s just what we are all about,” Davis stated. “It’s fantastic and that’s what my message was to the kids — it’s nice to see them and their families take part in the community event and giving back to those less fortunate.”
Davis expressed great gratitude when describing the generosity of the community from those who participated in the food drive. While the bank did not give out numbers for the food drive results, Davis expressed the bank received many food donations.
“I know it was a truckload,” Davis commented. “We had a pickup truck full of donated items.”
All food donations, as well as the two turkeys, were donated to the Saint Vincent de Paul chapter in Corning. The overseeing organization was inspired by the Gospel values as it aims to take a lead in helping those who struggle with basic living circumstances.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and its Vincentians work with charity and justice in order to be a witness to God’s love. The society cooperates with other individuals and organizations whose main intention is to work for the needy.
“As we sit around a table, we always look for community service projects to do,” Davis said. “For this particular event, we felt around Thanksgiving time we would provide food the best we could to get our community to provide food for families that may not have it for Thanksgiving.”