Generosity abounds in Thurman for holidays

THURMAN - Despite the financial stresses that many rural Adirondack families are experiencing, holiday generosity apparently has been thriving in Thurman.

Town Supervisor Red Pitkin reported this week that about 10 citizens gathered Dec. 11 at the town hall to put together 60 to 70 holiday baskets for Thurman residents facing the heaviest financial challenges.

The local citizens filled the wicker baskets with homemade food selections, including baked goods, premium fruit, various groceries, plus handmade gifts including pot-holders, hand-dipped candles, knitted goods and Christmas ornaments. Some baskets were decorated with flowers, including poinsettias.

Many of baskets were custom-assembled, tailored to the recipient families' particular needs, Pitkin said, remarking that Helen Baker coordinated the effort.

"This is the part of small-town living that doesn't get publicized," he said, noting the strong community bond that is enduring despite the substantial challenges of modern life.

"Some of these volunteers are unemployed like many others in town, yet they are reaching out to other people," Pitkin added. "There are some good hearts out here."

The holiday gift baskets were then delivered to residents at Countryside Adult Home in Warrensburg, Tri-County Nursing Home in North Creek, and local folks scattered throughout Thurman, Pitkin said.

"It was a great day," he said. "Everyone went home tired at night but you felt really good about the world."

In addition, an anonymous Thurman citizen paid for 40 Christmas turkeys to be given out to local residents, and Pitkin drove to Wal-Mart in Queensbury to pick them up.

Then on Dec. 12, a town Christmas party drew about 75 children and their relatives, with about a dozen volunteers dedicating their time before and during the event to make it happen, Pitkin said.

Those volunteers included Santa and Mrs. Claus who paid to rent suits for the day, he said. Presents given out to the children were also donated, as were the home-cooked food for the potluck luncheon, Pitkin said.

"Considering our town has a population of 1,200, we had about 10 percent of the entire town turn out," he said. "The kids had a ball."

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