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FISH needs food, volunteers for T-day distribution



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November 09, 2011 - As usual, Oxford-Orion FISH is working hard to ensure no local family or individual has an empty table this Thanksgiving.

"Everybody should have a nice, warm meal on Thanksgiving," said FISH Pantry Coordinator Sandy Klersy. "It's just a nice family tradition."

But to accomplish this, the local charity group needs help from the community in the form of food donations and lots of kindhearted volunteers.

"We give out anywhere from 200 to 250 Thanksgiving baskets," Klersy said. "I already have 196 (clients) signed up (for baskets) and the sign-up isn't over until Friday."

Only FISH clients are eligible for these baskets. They can register for one by calling (248) 628-3933 and leaving a message.

"If they're not a client, we send them to the Lake Orion Lions (Club)," Klersy noted.

Right now, FISH is collecting food donations such as stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, canned potatoes, gravy, cream of mushroom soup, Bisquick baking mix, pumpkin pie filling, french fried onions, canned yams, fruit (either fresh or canned) and JELL-O.

Donations can be dropped off at the Oxford and Lake Orion post offices, Lake Orion United Methodist Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Oxford Village offices (24-hour drop-off in the hall by the police station), Addison Township offices, Grondins Hair Center of Lake Orion and Hollywood Markets in Lake Orion.

"We're growing in our (drop-off) locations thank goodness," Klersy said. "I'm working on the libraries right now – trying to see if I can get into both the Lake Orion and Oxford libraries. Hopefully, I'll get them before the beginning of the year."

Every year, the turkeys are donated by a gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous.

He gives FISH certificates which the clients can redeem at any grocery store for whatever size turkey they need for their family.

In addition to food, FISH also needs volunteers and plenty of them.

Drivers are needed to pick up food on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from each of the Oxford and Lake Orion schools that are currently conducting food drives and transport the donations to the FISH Pantry at 487 First St. in the unincorporated village of Thomas.

About 20 to 25 volunteers are needed to come to the pantry and sort all the food donations between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18. "Drivers and sorters are my biggest need," Klersy said.

About 15 volunteers are needed to put the Thanksgiving baskets together between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Baskets will be distributed to clients the very next day. To volunteer, call (248) 628-3933 and leave a message for Klersy.

Every year, the turkeys are donated by a gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous.

He gives FISH certificates which the clients can redeem at any grocery store and obtain whatever size turkey they need for their family.

In addition to food, FISH also needs volunteers and plenty of them.

Drivers are needed to pick up food on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from each of the Oxford and Lake Orion schools that are currently conducting food drives and transport the donations to the FISH Pantry at 487 First St. in the unincorporated village of Thomas.

About 20 to 25 volunteers are needed to come to the pantry and sort all the food donations between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

"Drivers and sorters are my biggest need," Klersy said.

About 15 volunteers are needed to put the Thanksgiving baskets together between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The baskets will be distributed to all the grateful clients the very next day.

To volunteer, call (248) 628-3933 and leave a message for Klersy.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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