Community benefits from generosity of company


For the 26th consecutive year, many residents of Switzerland County and other areas of Southeastern Indiana will have brighter and more joyous Christmas thanks to some folks who believe in “people helping people.”

Employees of the American Electric Power plant in Lawrenceburg raise money each year from donations from employees and retirees, along with a benefit golf outing. Those funds are then turned into semi truckloads of canned goods, which are distributed around the area by plant employees just in time for Christmas.

“This year we got 270 cases of canned goods, and the food pantry also got 270 cases,” Rita Sullivan, who helps coordinate the food distribution program for the Vevay American Legion, said.

Sullivan said that AEP employees drop off at five different places in time for the holidays: Aurora, Versailles, two drops in Vevay, and in Rising Sun.

For years the Indiana-Michigan Power Company spearheaded the “People Helping People” program, but when the coal fired power plants closed last year, the AEP employees took over the responsibilities.

The canned goods that were delivered last Friday afternoon and stored at the Jeff-Craig Firehouse will be used this Saturday to fill the food baskets that the American Legion distributes to needy families each year; and it will also be distributed as part of the food pantry that is coordinated each month by Truth Apostolic Church.

“Belterra donates the turkeys; and the Plum Creek Baptist Church really helps us out,” Sullivan said. “The American Legion then puts in whatever other costs are involved to purchase the milk and the rolls and the potatoes. The Lions Club also donates sausage each year; and the FFA donates fruit to us.”

This year the Legion members will distribute 150 food baskets; with all of the program working through the volunteer fire departments.

“With the fire departments we couldn’t do this,” Sullivan said. “Patriot, Posey, Enterprise, Florence, Moorefield and Jeff-Craig. They all serve as places where people come and pick up their baskets of food. They actually distribute it for us.”