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 - Liz Schmidt
Chair, Area – Bill Lowe
Chair, Client Relations – Jamie Joyner
Chair, Donor Relations – Paige Williams
Chair, Logistics – Jeff Martone
Chair, Food – Rolf Piranian
Chair, Fund Development – Audrey Hawkins
Chair, Communications – Jen Andrews
Chair, Toys – Ruth Candler
Chair, Data – Ruth Floyd
Board Member at Large — Elaine Porter
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)|
RCB is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to enable a safer environment in which to do our work. This will include spreading out the packing at the Virginia Horse Center over the week of December 14-19. Additional safety measures will include a no-exceptions mask policy for all volunteers, hand sanitizer stations, masks, shields, clearly marked safety distances, and signage to assist participants. Later in the fall, look here or on our Facebook and Instagram accounts for more info on how to sign up for a volunteer slot.
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. 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.
Please note: if you received a basket last year and have no changes to your household information, do not submit a new form. Only new applicants or those with changes to their household information need to submit an application. Click the links above to download and print an application OR pick one up at any Cornerstone Bank drive thru window.
All applications are due by November 17, 2020. All Cornerstone Bank branches are collecting applications at the drive-thru or mail them to Rockbridge Christmas Baskets at PO Box 1030, Lexington, VA 24450.