By Katie Demeria
The holiday season just got a lot brighter for more than 40 families in Frederick County.
Green Bay Packaging in Winchester made a large donation to the Timbrook Food and Toy Drive, which supports families in need during the holidays with gifts and meals.
The Timbrook Drive was created in the memory of Ricky L. Timbrook, a sergeant with the Winchester Police Department who died in the line of duty in 1999.
"Sergeant Timbrook had a passion for giving back to the community and his family continues to carry on his legacy," a Winchester Police news release stated.
Timbrook's family and the police have held the drive every year since Timbrook's death, making this its 14th year.
Green Bay Packaging has a drive every holiday season, according to Lori Bassler, the company's Customer Service Manager. This year, Bassler said, it was especially popular. Almost every employee donated.
Bassler gave the employees a choice of donating to a variety of charity organizations, and almost all of them chose the Timbrook drive.
"We wanted to give to them this year because they hit home with everyone here," Bassler said. "A lot of people are really softhearted when it comes to children around Christmastime."
The employees donated consistently over a six-week period. Bassler said that she played off the competitive nature of many employees to encourage them to donate more.
"I split them up into teams, giving them the ability to smack talk each other a little bit," she said. "It was a lot of fun."
During the first week, with a homemade plate of brownies as the prize, employees donated 218 cans of soup.
"It worked out well," Bassler said. "During the third week we collected 321 grocery times."
The employees worked together to donate various items to the families involved with the Timbrook Food and Toy Drive. In addition to the food, they sent in 121 toys, 85 personal care items, including toothbrushes and soap, and 188 stocking stuffers.
"We didn't know if the kids had stockings, though," Bassler added. "So we purchased 100 Christmas stockings for them all, so that Timbrook would be able to fill them."
In addition to the items employees collected, a sales representative located in Michigan purchased 50 boxes of over the counter medicine, including children's pain relievers and cough medicine, that were sent to the Timbrook drive.
The news release also reported that the group gave a monetary donation of $105.
"Green Bay Packaging is a privately held company, and it's a very family oriented company," Bessler said. "We pull together no matter what. Green Bay Packaging people are just like family."
Last year, the company adopted a local family and supported them through the holiday season.
"We fixed their vehicle, paid legal fees they had from a child custody case, stocked their freezer, filled up their pantry, all kinds of things," Bassler said.
Collection boxes for the Timbrook Food and Toy Drive were placed in six different locations throughout Winchester. The families will receive the donations on Dec. 14.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org