Perry Elks Lodge No. 407 stayed busy by giving back this holiday season to various projects, families and veterans.

Toy donation

Recently Perry Elks Lodge No. 407 donated nearly $1,000 in new toys to the annual toy drive program. The toys were presented to John and Linda Andorf on Sunday, Dec. 1.

“It’s definitely a project very near and dear to my heart. I grew up very poor and didn’t have Christmas a lot of times,” Loyal Knight Amber Green said. “So on the other end of this, being able to actually be in a position to give back is extremely humbling.”

Green spearheaded the collection of toys while an in-law of one of the Lodge members donated nearly $600 herself. A group of Elks went and purchased the toys and brought them back to the Lodge, where the Andorfs sorted and packaged the gifts for distribution.

According to the Andorfs, they had about 300 children on the list for toys this year.

“This community is so giving and it helps when everyone works together,” said Linda Andorf.

Christmas food baskets

Perry Elks Lodge No. 407 delivered food baskets on Christmas Eve to 75 Perry families who could use a little extra for the holidays. The Elks partnered with Perry Fareway, Des Moines Bacon & Meat Company and Tyson in Perry.

The baskets included a whole pork loin or ham, eggs, potatoes, bread, milk and several varieties of canned goods. This event started at the lodge early on Christmas Eve morning as members came together to package the baskets and sort the locations they were delivering to.

Members also delivered 80 gift bags to local veterans. The Elks pledge “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”

“It’s important to our local lodge that we remember our local veterans so we put together a gift bag and personally deliver them to every veteran we know of in Perry,” Exalted Ruler Greg Haglund said.

This year approximately 50 members and their children participated throughout the day.

To become involved with the Perry Elks Lodge and help give back to the community, contact Haglund at 515-465-3791.