This year’s Santa Sacks, St. Vincent DePaul & Toys for Tots Christmas Giveaway is on Thursday, December 21st at the Lewisport Community Center (located at 15 Pell Street) from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The giveaway is for Hancock County residents only and you must determine eligibility and be signed-up.
The lists of families and individuals who qualify for the giveaway come from HC Schools, St. Vincent DePaul of Hancock County and the HC Food Pantry.
People in the community find out if they’re eligible first, and then sign-up at these locations. Eligibility is determined by the 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines. https://aspe.hhs.gov/topics/poverty-economic-mobility/poverty-guidelines
Three different programs
Three different programs come together to make this Christmas Giveaway day possible: Santa Sacks, St. Vincent DePaul and Toys for Tots. The food donated to Santa Sacks (non-perishables, hams and fresh fruit, etc.) is combined with donations of toys to Toys for Tots, and clothing items donated to St. Vincent DePaul, and assists 275-300 families & individuals in the county.
Noel & Monty Quinn, of Lewisport, began Santa Sacks in 1987. Beth Payne, Manager at St. Vincent DePaul, is the volunteer Coordinator for Toys for Tots & St. Vincent DePaul’s Christmas Program. They, along with many volunteers in the community, have been making sure this special giveaway runs smoothly each year. “We all work so good together,” Noel said. Volunteers coordinate and have gotten really good at organizing, collecting the donations, purchasing items with money donations and sorting everything according to the needs of the individuals and families they serve each year.
On the giveaway day, people drive in and hand volunteers the card they received at the HC Food Pantry that determines their household size and the amount of food they will receive, along with vouchers for toys and clothes if they have received those from St. Vincent DePaul and Toys For Tots. Volunteers use the cards & vouchers to distribute those accordingly, in hopes of making Christmas and the holiday season a little brighter this year for people in the community.
Some of the beginning donors for Santa Sacks this year are: Commonwealth, H & R Block, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Bill’s IGA and Specialty Foods. Specialty Foods (previously Fields Packing Company) has donated the hams and Noel will be picking those up in Owensboro, she said. Commonwealth donated gift cards this year. H & R Block, in Hawesville, donates the bags every year. Toilet paper, Kleenexes and paper towels are donated by Kimberly-Clark. Lewisport & Hawesville Lions Club donate generously, along with many individuals in the community.
In addition, the Lewisport Lions Club offers the Lewisport Community Center as the Santa Sacks Giveaway location. Southwire and Domtar, as well as many other individuals and businesses donate toward St. Vincent DePaul and Toys for Tots. A huge thank you goes out to all of the donors for making this giveaway possible!
Volunteers donate their time to organize and sort everything for the giveaway, as well as helping on the day of the giveaway. If you would like to help out this year, please call Noel Quinn at 270-929-2507, or Beth Payne at 270-295-3494.
Ways you can donate to Santa Sacks (the food program) are either by check, cash or non-perishable food items, Noel said. Non-perishables can be dropped off at Immaculate Conception Church, in Hawesville or Lewisport. You can also call Noel if you need her to pick up food items you’d like to donate.
Donations of toys for the giveaway are received through Toys for Tots. The clothing items for the giveaway: shoes, socks, underwear & coats, are donated through St. Vincent DePaul. Please call Beth Payne at St. Vincent DePaul (located at 8185 US Hwy 60 in Lewisport) for information on how to donate toward the toys and clothing items.