SANGERVILLE — The first floor of the Abner Wade Masonic Lodge looked like Santa’s workshop Friday night.
The Masons worked in an assembly line in the dining hall to fill 142 boxes with Christmas meals complete with turkeys for families in SAD 4 (Guilford area) and SAD 68 (Dover-Foxcroft area).
Elsewhere in the hall, organizers of the Piscataquis Santa Project were busy making a list and checking it twice to make sure 80 needy SAD 4 families received the perfect gifts under their Christmas trees. The hall was filled with boxes of new toys and winter clothing.
Kara Jackson, SAD 4’s Santa Project coordinator, said the SAD 4 communities have been gracious with donations for the Christmas project. “I am just so impressed with the community,” Jackson said during a break Friday. “It’s a very humbling experience.”
She said many people contributed money and gifts for the annual gift-giving program.
Several churches, businesses, the SAD 4 Key Club, fire departments, banks and town offices contributed to the project, Jackson said.
“There’s a lot of hurt in this community and there’s a lot of people struggling,” Jackson said. Families who reached out to the project and the Masons for help did so for a variety of reasons, she said. Some families are reeling from the death of family members who were the breadwinners, others are afflicted by sickness and still others have lost their jobs. “They have some very heartbreaking stories,” she said.
The Santa project and the food boxes donated by the Masons and their supporters are an effort to bring not only help to the families, but hope as well, according