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Tecumseh Service Club prepares for the holidays

By
MARY KAY McPARTLIN

For some Tecumseh families, Santa Claus works directly with Tecumseh Service Club to make the holidays merry and bright. The organization continues its yearly tradition of providing food and gifts for families struggling to make ends meet.

“Tecumseh Service Club’s twenty-five members are busy preparing for the annual Christmas food and gift distribution program while adhering to new regulations,” said Colleen Sunderland, director of Tecumseh Service Club. “This year we will be completely drive through. Families picking up food are already used to the drive through method.”

The holiday sign up began on Saturday, where Service Club volunteers got the necessary paperwork to families in a new way. “People drove through,” Sunderland said. “Families were given an application to complete and an envelope to return to be considered for assistance.”

Those who missed the sign up must email their name, phone number and address to tecumsehserviceclub2020@gmail.com. Families who signed up early will be mailed a gift card to purchase their holiday food.

There are some changes to the process this year due to necessary pandemic restrictions. “In the past, families picking up their gifts had an opportunity to shop from the donated used items such as clothing, linens and household items,” said Sunderland. “Due to COVID-19, we are unable to collect and distribute these items.”

Community support from individuals, local organizations and local businesses are what makes the work of Tecumseh Service Club possible. People want to help, and Sunderland and her team are grateful for all the support.

“It is amazing how the community comes together every year to help in any way they can,” she said. “People have been calling to adopt families for the past two months.”

Families or organizations that want to adopt a family can still sign up to participate. Just email tecumsehserviceclub2020@gmail.com.
Thanks to local organizations, there are many different ways to help make Christmas special for families. Community participation is welcomed by each group.

Knights of Columbus at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and Tecumseh Presbyterian Church are collecting donations of new coats, hats, and gloves.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is sponsoring “12 Weeks of Christmas.” Each Sunday select items are collected for the Tecumseh Service Club food pantry. “The last two weeks they collected items for the adopt-a-family program,” said Sunderland.

Tecumseh District Library hosts the Gift of Reading program from Friday, Nov. 27 through Monday, Dec. 14. People are invited to purchase new children’s books and/or teen paperbacks then bring the unwrapped books to the library’s Circulation Desk. The library requests donations not be placed in the book drops.

Another way to participate in the Gift of Reading program is to send a tax-deductible check payable to “Tecumseh Service Club” to the Tecumseh District Library, 215 North Ottawa Street, in care of “The Gift of Reading” by Monday, Dec. 14.  Designated shoppers from the Service Club will use these donations to buy additional books.

Beginning Thanksgiving weekend, the library staff will add donated books to the Gift of Reading display near the Information Desk. In mid-December, the books will be delivered to Tecumseh Service Club, and be added to the Christmas baskets.

Tecumseh’s Merry and Bright home lighting contest is being held in place of the candlelight tour this year. Food donations for the Service Club will be collected at the Tecumseh Historical Society Museum on December 4 and 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Marines have Toys for Tots boxes all around town. Tecumseh Service Club receives hundreds of toys from this drive every year, according to Sunderland.

Living in Lenawee Realty is collecting wrapping paper that will be used to wrap the gifts distributed to families. Donations of wrapping paper can be dropped off at the realty office located at 108 W. Chicago Blvd. If pick-up of wrapping paper is needed, call the office at 517.403.6939.

Tecumseh United Methodist Church and Tecumseh Covenant Church supply the food pantry throughout the year with their food collections. Donations are always accepted.

Tecumseh Service Club focuses on families all year round, but the holidays are a special time for the community to make a difference. “Because of the challenging times, we are so glad to help people,” Sunderland said.
 

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