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Christmas Fund begins mission to help 550 families

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Fundraising auction and radio broadcast is Sunday at Food City

Staff Report

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The Galax Volunteer Fire Department is once again heading up an annual community project that helps those less fortunate.

The department coordinates the Community Christmas Food Fund effort, but donations come from the public to fill “blessing boxes” of food. Volunteers also pack and deliver the hundreds of boxes before Christmas.

The blessing boxes consist of two large boxes of staple foods that will help 550 recipients through a financially difficult time of year.

“You, the community, actually make the blessing boxes a reality,” said Capt. Mike Ayers of the GVFD. “Each year, we start from scratch to raise the needed $30,000 to purchase all the food needed to fill the blessing boxes. Zero funds come from the Galax Fire Department, so we need everyone’s help.”

Money is raised several ways.

The first is donations from individuals, churches, civic organizations and businesses. Ayers said 80 percent of the money raised comes from individual and group donations.

Donations are received at P.O. Box 330, Galax, VA 24333, or by seeing any Galax volunteer firefighter. Make checks payable to the Galax Volunteer Fire Department with “Community Christmas Food Fund” in the memo line.

The second way to help secure the needed funds is by attending or listening to the Christmas Fund’s live auction and radio broadcast on WBRF 98.1 FM on Dec. 3 from 2-4:30 p.m. at Food City in Galax and calling in a pledge.

Local band Shadowgrass will provide music. “While you are there, place a bid on some of the wonderful donated items that will be in the silent auction that day,” Ayers said.

These items include a Honda Accord, a bedroom suit, a microwave range, a recliner, a sofa, an ottoman with occasional table, a propane heater and a mattress/box spring set. “All of these items have been donated by area businesses who believe that the true meaning of the season is blessing others,” Ayers said.

Donors include Vanguard Furniture, Guynn Furniture, Albany Industries, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, Fenders Body Shop, Matthew’s Five & Dime, Pulaski Furniture and Cockerham Energy. Pictures and descriptions of each item and the business that made the donation are on the GVFD’s website, galaxfire.com.

There are other ways to help.

“We need help packing the food into the 1,100 boxes,” on Dec 21 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Galax Firehouse, Ayers said. “The packing event is a sight to behold and a lot of fun. Young, old, and in-between…there is a job for you.”

The fire department also relies on the community to deliver the boxes on Dec 24th, beginning at 7 a.m., starting from the Galax Firehouse at 300 W. Grayson St. “That is where the true blessing is experienced by those delivering,” Ayers said.

Those in need, or who know someone who is, can sign up at their local Department of Social Services office. For more information, call Ayers at (276) 235-9580.