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Lions, Ross hold food drive

Photo submitted by Sara Camacho Volunteers completed a pantry fill drive at Phillips Elementary School in Marietta last week in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

Thankful to serve, that’s what more than 50 volunteers decided with the kickoff of the winter holiday season. The Ross Family and about 55 others have put forth an effort that many are thankful for this season. Along with community members and the Marietta Noon Lions, Lindsay Ross organized a large Thanksgiving and Pantry Fill Drive for families in need at Phillips Elementary School in Marietta.

“Every year, my family tries to pick a service project to do around the holidays,” Ross, drive coordinator, said. “I think it helps keep things in perspective for all of us. It is important to my husband and I that we pass along a love for helping others to our children and it’s always an excellent reminder for ourselves too.”

Working with the school principal, Kristi Lantz, and guidance counselor Kim Cwynar, Ross initially planned to organize a Thanksgiving box for some families in need. After lightly publicizing the event through personal Facebook posts, the effort exponentially grew, allowing it to be the final large drive delivered and distributed a week ago Friday.

“My original goal was to fill 12 Thanksgiving boxes for Phillips families, where my daughter is a kindergartener,” said Ross. “However, after publicizing through Facebook, we were able to pass out 19 large, over-filled food boxes complete with a turkey breast and 15 smaller extra bags filled with random pantry staples.”

Several family friends, complete strangers and donations from Florida came in for this project. Ross’ husband, Justin did the heavy lifting, she admits, while many other friends help with the packing, including Lions members, and even her three children handmade Thanksgiving cards to include in each box.

“I want to say a special thank you to the Marietta Noon Lions Club for their volunteer and donation,” said Ross.

“Warren’s IGA helped out with the turkey, gathering of boxes and bags, and the Reno Christian Church allowed us to use the building to pack the boxes and store them.”

Ross, including groups like the Lions, believe in giving back all year long. In the past Ross has organized a wrapping paper drive for families in need, ring Salvation Army bells, and other small projects. Marietta Noon Lions, focuses on community projects that support their areas of service: environmental, diabetes awareness, hunger relief, vision and pediatric cancer research.

“We were proud to see something like this come out of the community, brought to us by our newest Lion,” said Steve McCarthy, Marietta Noon’s 96th president. “We were happy to donate and glad some of our members were able to help out with this project. This is what we do, we serve.”

Ross encourages others to see the need right in front of you all year long. While the holiday time is a wonderful time to give back, community service opportunities are available to give back to those in need through a variety of projects sponsored by the Marietta Noon Lions. For more information, contact mariettanoonlions@gmail.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mariettanoonlions to see how you can serve the community like the Ross family.

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