To the Editor:

I would like to thank everyone who helped the Washington Holiday Basket Committee reach its 2012 goal.

This year came with new challenges. The number of families in our area who needed assistance had already increased before Hurricane Sandy blew in.

Although we were not directly affected by the storm, our families and friends in the tri-state area needed help and the people of Washington stepped up.

When I thought there might not be anything left to give, the community surprised me with a flood of generosity. Cheese and pies, hand-knitted mittens and centerpieces of holly and pine began to arrive and fill every cabinet in our storage space to capacity.

It seemed everybody took stock of their abilities and resources and, in many new and creative ways, made something wonderful happen.

Now the flurry of my first year as the committee's coordinator has wrapped up, I can take a minute to reflect on all the people who gave their time and effort to this project.

I would like to offer my heartfelt thank you to all of those who sponsored food drives, wrote checks, packed boxes, became a "secret Santa," checked endless expiration dates on canned goods or simply reminded me to smile and keep moving forward.

You did a terrific thing and I am honored to be part of such a caring community.

Betsy Baker

Holiday Basket