Baxter Community Center kicks off Holiday Baskets Drive

The Holiday Baskets Drive serves hundreds of families in the Baxter neighborhood every holiday season. Courtesy Sonja Forte

Baxter Community Center is seeking donations to fill holiday baskets for families in need of a little Christmas cheer.

The community center that serves the Baxter neighborhood of Grand Rapids said Tuesday it is now collecting donations for its annual Holiday Baskets Drive, a longstanding tradition serving hundreds of families in the neighborhood every holiday season.

Each participating family receives a basket containing a turkey, ham or chicken; potatoes; pasta or rice; fresh, canned or frozen vegetables; fresh or canned fruit; bread or rolls; butter or margarine; side dishes such as gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pickles or olives; and desserts such as cake mix, frosting, pie filling or whipped topping.

Families can pick up their baskets at the Baxter Community Center on Dec. 21, 22 and 23.

Donations needed

The following items are needed to ensure the Baxter neighbors have a cheerful holiday meal this year:

Foods: Boxed potatoes, dried pasta, bags of rice, canned vegetables, jars of shelf-stable fruit, bags of dinner rolls or bread, boxes of cake mix, cans of pie filling, jars of gravy, jars of cranberry sauce, jars of pickles, jars of olives, cans of sweet potatoes, boxes of stuffing mix, pie shells and gift cards to local grocery stores for families to purchase perishable items.

Cash donations: A $100 donation will allow Baxter to provide a nutritious, balanced food package that will help feed an average family for a week.

Host a donation drive: People can host a drive at work, church, school or in their neighborhood to collect donated goods, raise funds or host a can drive to purchase gift cards.

Baxter also is seeking the support of sponsors and donors to offset Holiday Baskets expenses and fund its year-round programs that support families in need of assistance in southeast Grand Rapids.

To learn more, give, sponsor or sign up, people can visit or contact Margaret Williams at (616) 456-8593 or

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