Holiday giving a tradition for over 75 years

TIPP CITY – The Needy Basket Christmas program, a tradition of more than 75 years, continued again this month.

The all-volunteer organization that partners with Shared Harvest Food Bank wrapped up its holiday program of food, gifts and clothing for qualifying families in Tipp City, Bethel Twp. and Monroe Twp.

This year’s holiday program served more than a dozen additional families over 2021.

The program provided for 183 families with 293 adults and 232 children.

“The thing I have noticed is the bigger families, whether from people moving back in, a residual of COVID, that kind of thing,” said Gerry Wyen, who volunteers for Needy Basket with wife Viv. “We are serving more adults.”

Increases in prices and a shortage of some items typically purchased have impacted Needy Basket, just like other buyers.

Overall, the numbers of requests for assistance throughout the year “are coming back up,” said volunteer John Brenner. By the end of September, requests for food to Needy Basket were ahead of the 2021 totals, he said.

In addition to food, the families received vouchers for clothing through The Clothesline in downtown Tipp City.

For youth, toys are given to children ages 10 and under. Teens get gift cards. The program this year upped the amount of each gift card from $50 to $75 because of price increases, Wyen said.

Toys for the “baskets” come from various donors, including Toys for Tots.

Toys coming to the Needy Basket headquarters on South Fifth Street from Toys for Tots are collected in the Pleasant Hill and Tipp City areas, said Charles Hormell, a Toys for Tots volunteers. Donations this year were good, he said.

The toys are separated into age groups for ease of volunteers helping to pack the boxes heading for families with children, said toys coordinator volunteer Marilyn McClurg.

Volunteers always are welcome.

For more information visit or call 937-667-1977. Donations can be made through the website.

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