The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

December 13, 2012

Camanche community gives back to needy

CAMANCHE — While many are hitting up the mall to get last minute Christmas gifts, there are some who struggle to find the means to celebrate the holiday season.

Residents young and old are volunteering their time to make sure these families have food and gifts to celebrate Christmas.

“It’s so important for the kids,” Giving Tree volunteer Linda Pingel said. “We want to make sure they have a good holiday. Everyone deserves a present under the tree.”

Volunteers gave time and talents assembling and handing out sharing tree gifts and food baskets on Tuesday at City Hall. Camanche Kiwanis facilitates the Christmas food baskets each year with help from local church and school groups.  

“It’s a real community effort,” Kiwanis member Marilyn Rasmussen said.

More than 100 families benefit from the event each year.  The group also provides and delivers meal boxes to the elderly.

“It makes you feel so good to help other people,” Kiwanis member Pat Haley said.

For these volunteers it is part of a yearlong effort to benefit the community. Much of the food that goes into the boxes was gathered during the trick or treat for canned goods event in October along with donations from the Quad-Cities Food Bank.

 “Seeing a smile on someone’s face and knowing you were helpful is the best part,” Camanche High School student Quan Matthew said.

Nearby at the Camanche Masonic Lodge, Deb Wiese and Linda Pingel, have gathered up toys for less fortunate young ones for more than 20 years. The two women have organized the giving tree gift bags with help from friends and other volunteers. This year they also had help from toys for tots.

“We are very thankful for Toys for Tots and everyone who donates time and money to help out,” Pingel said.

From the lady who decorates the bears for the giving tree to the woman who donates china dolls each year, there are many people who lend a hand to brighten the holidays for those in need. Wiese shops for deals year round to supplement the gift drive each year.

“All of us could easily be in their shoes,” Wiese said. “It’s nice to know that there is someone there to help. Plus I enjoy shopping.”

In addition to the gift bags for families, the group also holds a used clothing sale.  This year, Nikki Carber and Kristy Matyasse organized the collection that offers families a place to pick up some extra items.

“We’ve had a great response from the community,” Carber said. “It’s very gratifying, but a lot of work.”

Perhaps the most important lesson in charity is from those who have little to give.

“One man came in to pick up a bag for his family and came back later to drop off some old toys,” Pingel said. “We’ve had others who have brought things to donate when they come to pick up their gifts too. I think that says a lot about our community and the people in it. Everyone wants to help no matter how much or little they have.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • AGENDA: 4-22-14 Clinton City Council

    The Clinton City Council will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. followed by a committee of the whole.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week.

    April 18, 2014

  • NASA's moon-orbiting robot crashes down as planned

    April 18, 2014

  • Eyewitness testimony no longer a gold standard

    The American legal system offers few moments as dramatic as an eyewitness to a crime pointing his finger across a crowded courtroom at a defendant.

    The problem is that decades of studies show eyewitness testimony is only right about half the time — a reality that has prompted a small vanguard of police chiefs, courts and lawmakers to toughen laws governing the handling of eyewitnesses and their accounts of crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Blagojevich campaign account donates final dollars

    A federal campaign account for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now empty, two years into the Chicago Democrat's prison term.

    The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Friends of Rod Blagojevich donated $709.85 to a Serbian Orthodox Church monastery earlier this month.

    April 18, 2014

  • GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library

    A Republican lawmaker is protesting after an Illinois House committee recorded a 9-0 vote to commit $100 million for President Barack Obama's library and museum, even though the committee's four GOP members weren't there.

    Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein says he didn't expect a vote during Thursday's hearing. He told WBEZ radio and the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald he would've voted no.

    Sullivan says "the legacy of the Obama presidential library shouldn't be kicked off in a cloud of controversy."

    April 18, 2014

  • Prosecutor says 6 felon voting cases will proceed

    A prosecutor pursuing several cases against felons charged with voting illegally says an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shouldn't impact them.Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney Linda Fangman said Thursday the prosecutions will "proceed as is," despite Tuesday's ruling suggesting that not all felons lose their voting rights. She's handling felony election misconduct cases against six offenders accused of voting in the 2012 election even though they lost their rights. A seventh may plead guilty Monday.

    April 18, 2014

AP Video