COLUMBIA, Pa. -- Volunteers in Lancaster County are gathering to help people in need this holiday season. The Columbia Lions Club and Sunsnappers sponsor a Christmas Food Box Delivery and give out hundreds of boxes and toys, too.
Twenty-four years ago, Ken Kramer started giving out Christmas food boxes to the needy in Columbia. Since then, the event has expanded exponentially.
Kramer said, "First year we took it over we did 25 turkeys with a small food box, the next year we did 50 food boxes. Now today we are doing between 750 and 800 food boxes."
Hundreds of people came out to volunteer at the Columbia Borough Fire Department to hand out boxes and toys to families in the community.
George Sheets, a volunteer, said, "I really thought that we'd show up and there'd be 20-30 people. I'm just overwhelmed at the response rate, and the amount of people, and the diversity of the people that are here."
It makes them happy to bring smiles to the faces of people who are less fortunate.
Jack Gamby, the president of Columbia Lions Club, said, "It's unbelievable sometimes. You have people crying. They don't have a whole lot some of them. So this is their big day for them.
One family volunteers in honor of their son who passed away.
Bernie Wolgemuth, a volunteer, said, "It feels good just to get together and do things for his memory and help people that aren't as fortunate."
Older volunteers are also teaching their children to donate their time.
Jordan Haberstroh, from Columbia, said, "It's telling me that I don't take for granted every warm house I get, or every blanket I get to snuggle with, or even an apple. It's just a nice feeling to give back to the community. It always gets to me."
And Kramer, who organizes the food drive, is happy to pass down what he started to the next generation.
"My whole objective was over the years was to get the kids involved. And as you can see out here now. We have a ton of young kids and older kids. That's the future of this," he said.