BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- More than 100 local families are opening their doors on Monday to find boxes of donated food and cleaning supplies, just in time for the holidays.
It's part of the annual Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) food baskets, where members and other volunteers pack boxes to donate to families in need.
"God provides a way for us to help people in our community and my passion is to do that," said FOP Executive Board member Russell McElroy, who runs the Christmas food basket program.
He said the program started more than 40 years ago with just six families and has grown into an annual tradition helping hundreds.
"I want to thank the citizens of Bowling Green and Warren County that contribute to our food basket program. We call a couple times a year asking for help and our community has responded and we wouldn't be able to do what we are doing without their help," he added.
With each truck loaded up in the FOP Lodge parking lot, it symbolizes one more family that won't have to worry about having the basics, at least for a week or two as the holidays approach.
"It takes a lot of folks to make this happen, but that's why we're here is to be a blessing," said Don Duvall, who works for the Housing Authority of Bowling Green.
Several families who live within the Housing Authority receive these food baskets and Don helps deliver everything, meaning he's one of the ones who gets to see the smiles on peoples' faces when they open the door.
"It just brings joy to their face because a lot of them tell us that they don't know what they was going to do, how they was going to get it, so any way we can help is greatly appreciated," he said.
Don went on to say, "It means a lot because at the Housing Authority, our boss Mr. Abraham Williams, he's big on family; and so we understand coming together and helping one another because at the end of the day, we're all in the same shape. If you don't help nobody, don't expect to get no help."
The American Legion and several families in the Rockfield area also received baskets from the FOP on Monday morning. The lodge also keeps a reserve supply throughout the year to donate to churches and other organizations as needed.