The mission of Rockbridge Christmas Baskets is to share the joy of the holiday season by providing food and toys to as many households-in-need as possible in Rockbridge County and the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, Virginia.
History of Rockbridge Christmas Baskets
On December 2nd, 1948 the Lexington Women’s’ Club and the Lexington Junior Women’s Club created an amazing thing – the Santa Claus Truck. The Santa Claus Truck was a coordinated community effort to provide food and toys to those in need at Christmas. There were any number of individual efforts at this time trying to do the same – churches and civic clubs doing what they could with what they had. But the magic behind the Santa Claus Truck was that it brought all of these individual efforts together, creating a synergy that only comes when like minds and hearts come together. The Santa Claus Truck served 150 families that first year and a tradition was born.
Over the years, the Santa Claus Truck became the Rockbridge Christmas Basket Program. There have been some changes since 1948 – in 2018, we served over 3,000 people including more than 1,080 children. But a lot has stayed the same. We still deliver healthy food and toys at a time of year when it’s needed most. Our operational costs are razor thin, less than 10%. And we still rely on the generosity of others, both individuals and organizations, to do what we do. We are truly thankful for every penny and every second we are given and consider ourselves fortunate to live in a place as wonderful and caring as Rockbridge County.
President – Audrey Hawkins
Vice President – Jamie Joyner
Treasurer – Karen Paulk
Secretary - Elaine Porter
Chair, Area – Bill Lowe
Chair, Client Relations – Jamie Joyner
Chair, Logistics – Doug Sisson
Chair, Food – Rolf Piranian
Chair, Fund Development – Audrey Hawkins
Chair, Communications – Jen Andrews
Chair, Toys – Ruth Candler
Chair, Data – Ruth Floyd
The Rockbridge County Christmas Baskets Program is able to do the good that we do thanks to individual donations and some really wonderful organizations. These organizations give their time, resources, and financial support so that we can make the holiday season a little brighter for those who need it most. Some of these organizations are listed below, but there are many others. We are fortunate to have these organizations in our backyard and we are thankful for their generosity.
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Beta Club of Lylburn Downing Middle School
Charles W. Barger
City of Lexington Department of Public Works
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Lee Hi Travel Plaza
Lexington Rotary Club
Lexington Sunrise Rotary
McClung Companies - Printing and Marketing Services
National Honor Society of Rockbridge County High School
Rockbridge Area Relief Association
Spencer Home Center
The Rockbridge Advocate
Virginia Horse Center
Virginia Military Institute
Washington and Lee University
W&L Wrestling Team
White’s Travel Center
Areas Served and Service Organizations
|Arnold's Valley||Glasgow Lifesaving & First Aid Crew|
|Brownsburg||Brownsburg Ruritan Club|
|Buena Vista||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Collierstown||Effinger Ruritan Club|
|Fairfield||Spencer Home Center|
|Falling Springs||Natural Bridge Ruritan Club|
|Glasgow||Racers Who Care|
|Goshen||Goshen Presbyterian Church|
|Kerrs Creek||Kerrs Creek Ruritan Club|
|Lexington North||Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club|
|Lexington South||Lexington Rotary Club|
|Mountain View||Mountain View Volunteers|
|Natural Bridge||Natural Bridge Fire Dept|
|Rockbridge Baths||Rockbridge Baths Fire Dept|
|Sam Houston||Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church|
|Vesuvius||Vesuvius Community Club|
|Village at Rockbridge & Willow Springs Apts.||Mike Bell & Boy Scout Troops 5, 29, 218 & 318 & Cub Scout Pack 180 (with assistance from Spencer Home Center)|
The big day! Come out to watch, come out to help, come out to visit, but come out! Hundreds of people coming together to help hundreds of people – that’s what the holidays – and packing day – are all about. Virginia Horse Center. Starts at 8:00 a.m. and is usually wrapped up by noon.
How You Can Help
There are lots of ways you can help Rockbridge Christmas Baskets continue doing what we do. The most important way is financially. We’ve made that easy by simply clicking on the “Make A Donation” button on this page.
The Rockbridge Christmas Basket Program is a 100% volunteer organization so our overhead and expenses are extremely low (less than 10%). That means more than 90% of the funds we receive go to fulfilling our mission of providing food and toys to those in need. Even better – we have established relationships with a wide range of suppliers and retailers who give us significant discounts on all our purchases, essentially multiplying the value of every dollar we receive by 3X or 4X. The result? Every household in need receives approximately 40 pounds of healthy food and every child receives a toy that is appropriate to his or her age. No one is left out.
The other way you can help is to join us on packing day! We have over 68,000 pounds of food and over 1,300 toys to pack! And don’t worry – the Effinger Ruritan Club will have plenty of coffee and donuts on hand to keep your energy up. Packing Day this year will be on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at the Virginia Horse Center from 8:00 until the last can of food is packed and the last toy is in its bag (usually around noon). Join us and hundreds of your friends and neighbors as we come together in the spirit of Christmas to help those less fortunate in our community.
How to Receive a Basket
Becoming a Recipient
Rockbridge Christmas Baskets is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping as many of our neighbors-in-need as possible during the holiday season. We make every effort to provide a Christmas Basket for every family in need, but cannot guarantee that everyone will receive a basket. Rockbridge Christmas Baskets is not associated with any other organization or governmental agency and is staffed purely by volunteers.
We encourage you to fill out an application if you will find it difficult to put food on the table during the holiday season and/or you are concerned that children living in your household will not have a new toy to play with on Christmas morning.
The Rockbridge Christmas Basket list for Christmas 2019 is now complete. Application information will be available here in the fall of 2020.