The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The month of December is always full of excitement for Crew 91.  There are so many wonderful service projects in which we participate.  We kicked off the Christmas season by lending a hand to our sponsoring organization, The United Methodist Men’s Club.

Venture Crew 91

Every year the Men’s Club in conjunction with the church hosts Christmas on 6th Street.  The day is full of crafts and vendors selling wares.  And not to be forgotten are all the delicious baked goods by the women of the church.  The event is held to help support the ministries of the church.  Members of Crew 91 volunteered in the kitchen, taking on our usual role of server, table buser and drink refiller.  The members of the Men’s Club have the kitchen down to a science and we fall into step with ladles and aprons in hand.

Venture Crew 91

The wonderful world of serving at the Chillicothe United Methodist Church are the friendly faces you come to know.  Almost every lunch or dinner served brings old familiar faces.  Serving food is a wonderful opportunity to catch up and get the latest news of the comings and goings of our little town.  This year we were joined by members of Troop 91.  It is easy to forget how young Boys Scouts are when you spend all of your time with Venture Scouts!

Venture Crew 91

Another wonderful organization to which we contribute is the Chillicothe Community Needs Agency (CNA).  Throughout the year CNA is meeting the needs of Chillicothe area residents.  From the past due electric bill, to helping the elderly replace broken and worn out appliances, to providing gift cards for groceries, and refilling pantries at Christmas time the CNA is a happening organization.

Our annual contribution usually takes the form of Christmas presents.  We LOVE shopping for the kiddos of Chillicothe at Christmas time.  This year CNA had a different need, a financial request.  When we approached the Community Needs Agency board concerning how we could best assist their organization they asked if we would contribute financially in place of Christmas presents.  As a collective we determined to use the funds set aside for Christmas presents and make a donation to be used as the CNA saw fit.  It is such a privilege to assist the Community Needs Agency in the services to individuals and families of Chillicothe.

This coming Saturday we will be participating in our all time favorite service activity of the year.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed we’ll join community volunteers at Illinois Valley Central High School to sort, assemble and deliver Christmas food baskets.  Throughout the month of December our local Kroger Grocery, area businesses, and the schools in IVC School District #321 have been collecting food donations for the Christmas baskets.

Venture Crew 91

Saturday morning we’ll be unloading carts full of donated non-perishable food items and preparing them for delivery.  It is just fabulous to see whole families, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, young children and Optimist Club members all come together to help serve those less fortunate.  A grand time is had by everyone as towers of green beans are assembled, potatoes are sorted into bags for individual families, and the Chillicothe Volunteer Fire Department picks up and delivers Christmas baskets.

Inevitably the day will be overcast, with a light drizzle turning into freezing rain while fingers and noses begin to freeze as the morning gathers speed. But no amount of gray skies and slippery sidewalks will dampen the spirits of the volunteers gathered at IVC to spread a little Christmas cheer to those who need it most at Christmas time.

What an incredible privilege it is to live in such a philanthropic small community as Chillicothe, Illinois.

 

Season of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving may have passed yet Crew 91 continues to be thankful.  This time of year is truly one of the crew’s most favorite.  There are so many ways we are able to serve our community and give back for all they have done for us and for others.

Christmas Shopping

We like to start off the holiday season by purchasing Christmas gifts.  Every year we volunteer at a local resale shop, Helping Hands, to raise money for us to purchase gifts for the less fortunate in our community.  This year we were able to shop for two families with five children in each family.

Christmas Shopping

There’s nothing quite like watching a group of teenage boys picking out and choosing the best gifts for 3-10 year old girls.  Needless to say they were much quicker in choosing presents for all the little boys who needed Christmas presents.  But in the end even the little princesses of the group will be opening splendid gifts Christmas morning.

Christmas Wrapping

There was quite the wrapping party after purchasing toys for 10 children!  So much ribbon and paper and tape made for a perfect start to the Christmas season.  Of course we could not have been in the Christmas spirit without singing along to Christmas classics.

Christmas Wrapping

In the coming weeks we will be out and about Chillicothe continuing to serve our community with cheerful service.  This Saturday we will be volunteering at the local Christmas on 6th Street held at the First United Methodist Church in Chillicothe.  We’ll be setting up tables for the perfect Christmas lunch of ham with all the trimmings, serving dinner and busing tables.  Come out and join us.

Christmas Wrapping

Then on December 21 we’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed at the annual packaging of non-perishable food baskets for the Chillicothe Community Needs Agency.  Starting at 7am we’ll be at IVC High School unloading, sorting and packaging canned food items for the Community Christmas Baskets.  When it’s all said and done almost 125 families will be receiving baskets just in time for Christmas dinner.

Christmas Wrapping

With so much to be thankful, providing a few hours of cheerful service is just one way to share our thankfulness.  Because in the end, giving is so much more rewarding than receiving.  We hope to see you alongside us as we help others enjoy this Christmas season.

Alco, Monicals and the Bauer’s House

There is no better way to spend an evening than shopping at ALCO, eating pizza at Monical’s and destroying the Bauer Family’s living room all in the name of Christmas!  That is exactly what we did tonight.  Every year the Chillicothe Community Needs puts together Christmas baskets with food and presents for local families who need assistance at Christmas time.  And Venture Crew 91 participates every year and it is possibly our most favorite service project of the year.  This year we also decided to support the St. Edwards Giving Tree.

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To pay for our Christmas gifts we work at a local second hand store, Helping Hands.  We volunteer one week out of the year and then the groups who work during that week receive a portion of the proceeds.  And each year we decide to give back to the community with the funds we raise at Helping Hands.

This year we bought Christmas gifts for 18 local children and this Christmas there should be a handful of very excited children.  What 10-year old boy does not like a Nerf gun for Christmas? Our thinking, if we still like to play with Nerf guns at our campouts what little munchkins wouldn’t like an arsenal of Nerf toys of their very own?  And of course we picked out our classic favorite toys by Fisher-Price and Melissa & Doug.  And we want to make sure our skateboarders are safe so we made sure to pick out spiffy helmets.

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No Christmas gift wrapping party is complete without pizza so we invaded our local Monical’s and stuffed ourselves before heading back to the Bauer’s living room.  There was no portion of the living room untouched by wrapping paper, stuffing, tape, scissors and loads and loads of gifts!  It was fabulous.  And we lucked out this year – there were no injuries experienced on this Christmas expedition.  You try wrapping skateboards and helmets…very tricky if you ask us!

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Good times were had by one and all!