American Rescue Workers
American Rescue Workers
  Phone: (570) 323-8401   Fax: (570) 323-0980   Email:

Christmas at the American Rescue Workers

The Christmas season is a time of abundance for many Americans regardless of their social status. A time when food is plentiful and budgets are stretched to include generous acts of giving - some gifts so generous that they are even financed throughout the coming year.

However many families found themselves in different circumstances this year. With the rise of gasoline, heating fuel, medications, health insurance and many other expenses, many single individuals, families and the elderly struggled to keep themselves warm, fed and under-roof.

The year 2007 brought to the American Rescue Workers about 1,200 families that needed assistance in providing food for their holiday meal and toys for their children. One elderly gentleman remarked "It was either buy medication or buy food, so I bought my medication and came here for my food." A Christmas Basket consisted of a 12-14 pound turkey, 10 pound bag of potatoes, boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables and fruit, bag of noodles, cake mix and frosting, cereal, peanut butter, pound of margarine, loaf of bread, fresh apples, milk and many extras.

There is a vast amount of organization and preparation towards a distribution of this magnitude. Over 16,800 canned goods are collected. Churches, businesses, schools, civic groups, foundations and private individuals contributed to the giving or purchasing of these items.

Approximately 60-65 volunteers gathered on distribution day to pack and load boxes with groceries. Our distribution is organized in a grocery-store pattern, with food stacked on skids. Applicants are accompanied through the "grocery-store setting" with a cheery volunteer and there box is packed with food to overflowing. Other volunteers wait to help them to their car. A turkey voucher is provided for them to go to a local grocery store and receive their turkey and their toys are distributed from a larger facility at an accompanying site.

Toys that are provided by the Marine Corps Reserves "Toys For Tots" program are then handpicked by volunteers, bagged and distributed to families with children ages 0 - 12. This year 892 children were given a total of 7,136 toys, including 31 brand new bicycles. At our Love Center in Jersey Shore, 456 children were given a total of 2,736 toys.

It is a day that many wait for all year long. Community volunteers take vacation days to help us spread the Christmas spirit of giving. The year 2007 brought volunteers from many different avenues such as: Pa. Department of Probation & Parole, Susquehanna Health System, the Mayor's Office of Muncy, Pa., Christian Counseling Clinic, United States Army Recruiting Station, Kellogg's, Wings of Love Community Church, Marine Corps Reserves and many other private citizens.

The American Rescue Workers is an exciting place to be on Christmas Day. 44 Shelter residents get a visit from Santa Claus himself, laden down with a stocking of personal items for each man and a gift envelope for other needs that they may have. A Christmas dinner of ham and all the trimmings is served by volunteers at 11:30 AM, and opened to the public from 12 Noon - 3:00 PM. This year we served over 187 individuals and delivered 33 dinners to the handicapped and homebound.

It is an exciting time of the year - and as the song puts it "the most wonderful time of the year!"

How do you celebrate Christmas? In a story by Norman Vincent Peale, a teacher asked her student to look for the answer in the Bible. He read "I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink....As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me...." Let such a Christ-like Christmas happen to you. You'll like it better than any Christmas you've ever had.


Christmas Basket Day
Christmas Basket Day

Christmas Basket Day
Christmas Basket Day

Christmas Basket Day
Christmas Basket Day

Christmas Basket Day
Christmas Basket Day

Christmas Basket Day
Christmas Basket Day