GREENCASTLE -- As Christmas bears down on Putnam County, the spirit of giving extends to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department, where donations of food baskets went out last night to homes facing hard times throughout the county.
This is the third year the Sheriff's department has collected and distributed the baskets.
"We're donating 80 food baskets today and I think we had 60 some last year and 30 some the first year," said Chief Deputy Doug Nally. "This is something that (Sheriff Steve Fenwick) has really emphasized and then all the girls here in the front office have worked on it, too. They all get the money and go shopping."
Nally said that the department receives donations from a variety of sources. Community members donate both food and money, and RR Donnelley donated turkeys this year.
"All of the money that we get from our Halloween Haunted Trail that we do every year, part of the money was from there, also," Nally said.
Nally said that the community also helps the department identify who needs help.
"People call in and give us a name," Nally said. "Basically someone would say 'Mr. Smith at whatever address in Cloverdale or Bainbridge, they're low on money this year, they're low on funds, they're not working, they have this many kids..' someone basically nominates someone else for a basket, and we ended up with 80 names this year."
Nally said that deputies and people from other agencies began delivering the baskets at 2 p.m.
Although the main focus is on food, the department does hand out the occasional gift.
"Sometimes, if they have children, they'll throw in teddy bears or whatever else we have, but besides that it's pretty much all food," Nally said.