For the 27th 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.
For years the Indiana-Michigan Power Company spearheaded the “People Helping People” program, but when the coal fired power plants closed in 2014, 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.
“There are others who also help with food for the needy people of the county,” Steve Fritter of the Vevay American Legion said. “The American Legion, the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation; the Community Foundation of Switzerland County, Inc., the food pantry here, Plum Creek Baptist Church, the Quercus Grove United Methodist Church, and the Lions Club. Then there are other people who weren’t there when the food was unloaded who also help the community during Christmas. The Mike Leap memorial fund; the Jeannie and Butch Konkle fund; Pam Minch fund; and the Vevay IGA store also provide help and funds to cover expenses.”
This year’s shipment consisted of 169 cases of food: 10 cases of green beans; 66 cases of corn; 16 cases of chicken noodle soup; 10 cases of carrots; 22 cases of mixed vegetables; 12 cases of peas; 17 cases of pork and beans; and 17 cases of tuna fish.
All of that food, along with the other food purchased through the generosity of the groups and funds mentioned, will be distributed this Saturday by the Vevay American Legion, in cooperation with all of the volunteer fire departments in Switzerland County.
“This year we had 153 families apply for help,” Fritter said. “We’ll be giving it out this coming Saturday.”
“With the fire departments we couldn’t do this,” Fritter 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.”