With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Helping Hands is seeking donations to bring holiday meals to Marion County residents.

Each year, Helping Hands puts together baskets in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The baskets contain food items such as turkey or ham, and other canned goods used to prepare holiday meals.

“Thanksgiving is always the toughest because it gets upon us before we know,” said Chuck Galeazzi with Helping Hands. “It is a time of need.”

All services provided by Helping Hands, including the holiday baskets, are free. Because of this, Helping Hands depends solely on donations to help make its services possible.

Helping Hands serves communities around Marion County including Knoxville, Pleasantville, Melcher-Dallas, Bussey, Columbia, Harvey, Tracey and Hamilton. They give food away to the community on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, bagging up over 300 bags of groceries. Galeazzi says Helping Hands serves as a “clearinghouse” for the community when it comes to food, especially during Thanksgiving.

“We don’t have a way to generate capital other than gifts,” Galeazzi said.

Galeazzi says in order to complete the baskets, Helping Hands is asking for donations of turkey or other canned goods. The organization will also accept monetary donations to purchase items for the baskets.

Helping Hands does not turn away anyone who requests a holiday basket. Galeazzi says the organization encourages churches to come and take names of individuals who have requested baskets.

“This is the season of giving,” Galeazzi said. “We’re so thankful that the community supports us.”

In the past, Galeazzi says members of the community have been generous in their donations, donating multiple turkeys or large monetary amounts.

“It’s just inspiring,” Galeazzi said. “I see it in people’s eyes, when they give stuff, they’re happy. They’re excited. People feel really good about doing it.”

Helping Hands will deliver Thanksgiving baskets on Nov. 22, but will accept donations through the date of delivery. The organization will also accept donations for Christmas baskets until Dec. 20.

Helping Hands is located at 110 E Main Street in Knoxville. For more information or questions about donations, call (641)842-6933.

Emma Skahill can be reached at eskahill@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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