The Holiday Baskets Program, has been supplying food and gifts to people in need in our valley for about 35 years. This program, run entirely by volunteers, is a wonderful community effort with numerous groups and individuals assisting. Each year we provide for 250 families, approximately 1,000 people. We serve people in need from Aspen to Glenwood Springs.
People are referred to the program by local social service agencies and are then “adopted” by individuals, the faith community, schools, businesses and other groups. The “Adopting Angels” buy new gifts for each member of the family.
There are always more families in need than are adopted. The gifts for these non-adopted families are contributed by individuals and groups who choose a gift tag and then purchase the requested gift. The sheriff, communication (911), police and fire departments as well as schools, individuals and businesses all participate in choosing gift tags. All these donated gifts are gathered at Christ Church in Aspen where they are sorted and wrapped for individual families. Needed items that have not been donated are purchased.
There are four ways people in the community can participate in this program; make a tax deductible donation, adopt a family, donate new toys and clothing, and volunteer to sort and wrap gifts. We also have a Kid's Wrap Day which is always well attended.
In addition to gifts, each recipient in the program also receives a City Market food gift card. We have received much feedback that these food cards are greatly appreciated and usually used to purchase food for a holiday dinner. We spend approximately $22,000.00 for food gift cards each year. If we pay cash for them, we receive a 5% discount. Therefore it is important to have the funds in December.
If it were not for the Holiday Baskets program, many people in need in our valley would not have gifts and special food for the holidays.