Members of the Pilgrim Lutheran Chruch present money and blankets to Merritt Johnson for the basket program. Photo by Briana Alzola.
It is the season of giving and Othello is ready to do that in a big way. More than 300 baskets will be handed out Saturday as part of the Othello Christmas Basket program. Each container will hold food, blankets and toys for families in need around town. The delivery will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 22. Anyone who would like to participate can stop by the Othello fire station, 220 S. Broadway Ave. Volunteers are needed to help load the baskets and to deliver them to their intended family. The baskets have gotten a lot of help from donations around town. One group that gave this year is the Pilgrim Lutheran Church. First, they held a baked potato bar and raised $1,148 to go toward paying for extra food and other expenses. Then, the quilters who meet at the church each week donated several quilts to the cause, hoping to keep the families of Othello warm this winter season. They donated eight quilts to begin with but were finishing more to be in done in time for deliveries. The church has done this fundraiser in the past, as well. Other groups, like city hall, are collecting hats, mittens, gloves and scarves to help keep the people of Othello warm as the snow begins to fall. The basket program has been in Othello for almost 30 years, Merritt Johnson, who was one of the original founders, said. They started with a handful of baskets and just a few families. Over time, that need just continued to grow. To receive a basket, a family must be nominated, usually by a school, church or other community group.