Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 20, 2012

Red Ribbon Christmas provides gifts, food for needy

Early Thursday morning, the ground shuddered with thunder. The rain poured down in cold sheets. But as the rest of Kokomo slept, nearly 200 volunteers headed out into the black-skied early morning with boxes teeming with gifts and food for the unfortunate.

“On a rainy, cold December morning, I think that’s remarkable,” said Van Taylor, director of the Kokomo Rescue Mission, the organization that organizes Red Ribbon Christmas.

Kokomoans gathered at GM’s Tool Technology Center to enjoy coffee and donuts as they prepared to load up their cars with boxes for delivery. Over 1,000 families received the Red Ribbon Christmas boxes, which contain toys for children and enough food for three meals on Christmas Day.

Steve Fields and his young sons, dressed in their pajamas for “pajama day” at school, said they looked forward to delivering the gifts to families.

“It sounded fun,” Anthony Fields said.

Steve said he hoped the experience would be a lesson for his boys.

“I’m trying to teach them that there are people who are less fortunate,” he said. “I want them to see that. I used to be one of those guys. And this is my way of giving back.”

Volunteers faced one particular predicament: keeping the boxes dry in the pouring rain. With the wind whipping and heavy rain falling, this was no easy task. Volunteers inside the warehouse put boxes on conveyor belts to quickly roll them under a trap outside to a tent to be loaded in cars. Then, the boxes were on their way.

The event is an ongoing process through the year, according to Anna Brown, the organization’s coordinator of special events & volunteers. Gently used toys are collected year-round, and volunteers fix up the toys. She said the Rescue Mission also keeps a computer program to ensure that a child doesn’t receive the same gifts twice, or to remind volunteers to give children with developmental disabilities a fitting gift.

“A lot of love and care go into each box,” Brown said.

Taylor said the boxes aren’t just a way of giving less fortunate families material goods on Christmas.

“Every child loves a special gift. They look forward to it. And really, is it just the box? I would say no: it’s the expression of love,” Taylor said. “To know, no matter what your age, that somebody cares. Somebody thinks you’re important. Somebody thinks you matter. I think that gift is really love.”

Megan Graham is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. She can be reached by phone at 765-454-8570 or by email at megan.graham@kokomotribune.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • YMCA front rendering NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA’s Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo.“The Y is a great resource for the community, so we’re glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal Truck+Car Accident03 Woman killed after vehicle collides with semi head-on A woman was killed Monday night after her vehicle collided with a semi truck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.Elizabeth Ann Jeffries, 41, Monticello, died after her car apparently left the road and entered oncoming,

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters now require license With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

  • Council committee to present dog ordinance draft Aug. 11 Kokomo Common Council committee members will provide a draft of proposed changes to its dog ordinance at its Aug. 11 meeting. The release date for the draft was pushed back following a committee meeting where 25 members of the public aired their conc

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.