- ‘It takes a village’

The mother-daughter duo of Sarena, right, and Katelynn Smith were among nearly 20 volunteers who gathered last week at the Seymour United Methodist Church to pack and organize food baskets for the Seymour Share Your Christmas program.

Although he doesn’t endorse her political positions, Bob Crump admits Hillary Clinton was correct about one thing when she wrote her book.

It takes a village.

“She’s right about that,” Crump said last Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 18, as about 20 volunteers packed food boxes for the annual Share Your Christmas (SYC) program that helps families in the Seymour R-II School District.

“This project truly does take a village, and I feel that no village, or city in our instance, does it better than Seymour,” he continued. “It’s probably the smartest thing that Hillary has ever said.

“Everyone makes SYC work here. Churches sponsor our families. Many of our families were sponsored by our businesses, churches, individuals and organizations. Elementary students brought in food that was given to the families. And there are many who gave money (to SYC). It all adds up.”

This year, 19 families were assisted by SYC.

An additional 10 senior citizens at the Glenwood Healthcare nursing home in Seymour received holiday help.

In total, nearly 100 individuals were impacted by the local program, a majority of them children or seniors.

“Every family was sponsored for gifts,” Crump noted.

Last Thursday, all 19 families awarded assistance picked up their food baskets, hygiene baskets and gifts, while gifts also were delivered at Glenwood.

Crump, chairman of SYC for nearly three decades, noted that the program is sponsored by the Seymour Lions Club.

“This was our 23rd year of doing the food drive at the Seymour Elementary School,” he said. “Over the past 23 years, students have collected a total of 46,513 non-perishable food items.”

The total this year was 1,270.

That’s an impressive feat considering that three days of the food drive were lost because classes at Seymour’s school were dismissed due to inclement weather.

“The weather forced us to move our distribution day from today (Wednesday) to tomorrow (Thursday),” Crump said. “It was only a 24-hour delay, so it really didn’t hurt the program in any way.”

Volunteers had to be rounded up a day later.

“We’ve got about 20 volunteers here at the (Seymour United Methodist Church) today,” Crump said. “Many of them aren’t members of the Lions Club. They just want to help. Again, that’s part of the ‘it takes a village’ view.”

When the non-perishable food items were transported from the Seymour Elementary School to the church, Crump said head coach Chris Hastings and his boys from the Seymour High School boys’ basketball team came to the program’s rescue.

“They loaded the items into the U-Haul, then they stuck around and unloaded them at the church,” he explained. “Those food boxes were very heavy. There were a lot of them. The boys helping us out was invaluable.”

Each year, the Seymour Lions Club sponsors a pizza party and $50 cash to the elementary classroom that collects the most non-perishable food items.

This year’s winner was Kelli Keller’s pre-school class.

Students collected 449 items, Crump said.

“This class singl-handedly had more than a third of our total food items,” he noted. “That’s very impressive.”

Another success?

“Absolutely,” Crump concluded. “I know that I say this every year, but it’s true ... Seymour supports its own better than any small town around here, better than any small town anywhere, in my opinion. When there is a need, Seymour steps up.”

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