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
In December of 1948, the Lexington Woman’s’ Club and the Lexington Junior Woman’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 the time trying to do the same sort of thing – 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 collaborate. 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 2022, we served 3,189 people, including 1,165 children. But a lot has stayed the same. We still deliver healthy food and toys at a time of year when they’re needed most. Our operational costs are razor thin, roughly 3%. 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 — Debbie Pollard
Chair, Area – Bill Lowe
Chair, Client Relations – Jamie Joyner
Chair, Donor Relations – Paige Williams
Acting Chair, Logistics – Jamie Joyner
Chair, Food – Rolf Piranian
Chair, Communications – Jen Andrews
Chair, Toys – Ruth Candler
Chair, Data – Ruth Floyd
Co-Chair, Toys/Data – Liz Schmidt
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
Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital Health Foundation
Community Foundation for Rockbridge, Bath and Alleghany
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Lexington Rotary Club
Lexington Sunrise Rotary
McClung Companies - Printing and Marketing Services
National Honor Society of Rockbridge County High School
National Jr. Honor Society of Maury River Middle School
Rockbridge Area Relief Association
Spencer Home Center
The Rockbridge Advocate
Virginia Horse Center
Virginia Military Institute
Washington and Lee University
W&L Community Grants
W&L Athletic Department
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||Rockbridge Church|
|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)|
Join us on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at the Virginia Horse Center’s Anderson Coliseum. Packing Day starts at 8 a.m. and usually finishes around noon. No sign ups—just show up! If you are interested in a specific area of service, email us. First time packing with RCB? Welcome! Tips: Dress in layers (with one being a Christmas sweater, perhaps) and wear comfy shoes. And please, to keep your furry friends safe, leave pets at home.
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. That means roughly 95% 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 three or four times. 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 40 tons of food to pack and thousands and thousands of toys. 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
The basket application period ended on November 20, 2023. We are unable to take applications at this time. We hope you enjoy the holidays and have an excellent 2024!