CLINTON — The community has stepped up to help the Associate Benevolent Society help others.

Dozens of Clinton High School students on Thursday were helping the Associate Benevolent Society get ready for the annual Thanksgiving care package campaign. Three classes of freshmen and sophomore students in the CHS Assist program were organized into an assembly line by teachers Craig Long and Jennifer Hansen. They arrived at the center to pack hundreds of boxes of food that will be given to area families in need during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Long said approximately 75 students helped package the goods and while participation is required as part of his class, he knows the students realize the importance of what they’re doing.

“We just feel that citizenship and involvement in the community is really important to these kids,” Long said.

The Associate Benevolent Society organizes the Thanksgiving baskets with the help of several area organizations and businesses. This year, Kwik Trip Inc., Dairy Pak, Automotive Refinishers, the A.E. Pearson foundation and several churches have aided in the project.

The Thanksgiving baskets include poultry, mashed potatoes, gravy mix, stuffing, canned vegetables, canned or fresh fruit, Jell-O, bread, powdered milk and a dessert mix. Members of the Clinton Kiwanis will be distributing the boxes Monday and Tuesday. More than 460 families in the area will receive a basket.

Paula Mallory, director of the Associate Benevolent Society, said she and the staff members are very grateful for the donations of goods and manpower from the community.

A majority of agency funding for the Associate Benevolent Society comes from the United Way, investment income, gifts and memorials and Information and Referral Services. Community churches donate money and canned goods on a monthly basis and local businesses donate merchandise each year.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the Associate Benevolent Society can do so at 100 S. Second St. The center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment by calling 243-4148.

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