Mother, daughter manage Christmas drive


This year will mark the 10th year Adie Darden has served as the chairman for the Elks Christmas Baskets.

It will also be her last.

Her daughter, Sara, plans to manage the effort next year. This year, the two are co-chairing the effort in hopes that Sara will take it over next year.

Sara Darden and her mom Adie are this year's driving force behind the annual Elks Christmas Baskets. Sara plans to take over as the chair for her mom next year. Adie has been the chair of the effort for 10 years, and her daughter has helped her each year she's led the effort.

“It’s not that I’m burned out,” Adie said, “but I want to get some fresh blood involved. And they are willing to get involved.”

The idea to have Sara take over next year came up when the mother-daughter duo were discussing this year’s effort. Sara has been involved with the effort as long as her mom.

“I’ve done it forever and it’s a ton of fun,” Sara said. “One day, I was just talking about how maybe I would take it over one year and she said ‘well how about next year?’”

Sara said she knows the ins and outs of the project, but admits she will have to learn a bit more before she takes over. Adie agreed to train her daughter this year before putting her in charge of next year.

“I’ll still be around to help her if she needs it,” Adie added.

The effort, which has been around for years, provided baskets to 226 families last year. This year, families across Benewah County should request a basket by Dec. 15.

The baskets traditionally include a complete Christmas meal: a turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, fresh fruit and a pumpkin pie.

“We also add in other items, but that is what makes the basic box,” Sara said. “We try to give people a good variation of items.”

Gifts are also provided for children who are living in the household. After Thanksgiving, the Elks will put up the Tree of Sharing at Archie’s IGA and Harvest Foods. Tags on the tree will provide information for a child who is in need of a present. If one chooses to do so, they can purchase a present for that specific child. Gifts should not be wrapped.

In addition to gift donations, the Elks are also collecting non-perishable food items for the baskets.

“Everything that is donated goes to local families,” Adie said. “It will all stay here in the community. If someone doesn’t want to shop, we also welcome cash donations.”

The Elks will be assembling this year’s boxes beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 15. Everyone is invited to come and help assemble the boxes.

“We had more than 100 people show up last year,” Sara said. “People are welcome to show up throughout the day and its crazy how many people do show up.”

Adie said the boxes have numbers on them during the assembling of boxes and the Elks are very discreet about those who are receiving boxes.

Baskets will be available for pickup or delivery Dec. 17 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers will not leave baskets if recipients are not home.

Families can request a basket at the St. Maries Food Bank or by calling the Elks Lodge at 245-1418. Those who want baskets will need to leave their name, phone number, number of people in the household, ages and gender of children and specify delivery or pickup.

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