The William Hall Rodgers Christmas Basket Fund is continuing the tradition with plans to bring more than 1,000 families a joyful Christmas box of food items.
Some $28,000 is needed to meet the need this year, according to Basket Fund coordinator Todd Duggan.
The basket fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The registration for the baskets will be held on Monday, Nov. 14, from 8 a.m. until approximately 1,000 families have registered.
The registration will be held at the Lee University annex, former First Baptist location, in downtown Cleveland.
The baskets will be given out on Dec. 17.
The effort to ensure families in the community had a special blessing at Christmas was named for William Hall Rodgers in the late 1940s. Rodgers, a former Cleveland Banner editor, was a polio victim who worked with Associated Charities, a forerunner of the United Way, to help needy families at Christmastime.
Over the years, various organizations have shepherded the William Hall Rodgers Christmas Basket drive; however, for the last few years it has not had an organization overseeing it. The basket drive is operated completely by volunteers.
Volunteers sign up the families, gather the food and distribute the boxes of food staples.
To assist in raising funds for the program, the Banner each year recognizes those who donate to the Basket fund.
As part of the fundraising effort, a concert is being planned featuring the Sound of Tennessee Chorus, under the direction of Clarence Wall.
Individuals may send donations to First Tennessee Bank, P. O. Box 4880, Cleveland, TN 37320-4880 or drop off the donation at First Tennessee Bank on Raider Drive.