SALEM TWP. – The Masons of Salem Lodge No. 330 are at it again – providing the kind of donations that make a world of difference to needy families during the holiday season.

Thirty large baskets were donated to families within the Western Wayne School District. Baskets were stuffed to the brim with a large ham, bread, pasta, oranges, pie, eggs and more. These baskets do a lot to bring the spirit of the season to the less fortunate.

The Salem Lodge worked with social workers in the Western Wayne School District, Susan Schlasta of Evergreen Elementary and Diane Diane Tansits of the middle and high schools.

“We are extremely grateful to the Masons for this every holiday,” said Sue Schlasta.

The Salem Lodge puts together these baskets for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

In the true spirit of the season, it is the act of giving that provides good cheer for the Masons and everyone involved in the basket donation. It's a time that they all appreciate.

“The members here at Salem Lodge look forward each holiday season to help our local families,” said Harry Howell.

The Masons share the cost of providing the baskets with the anonymous donor.

For their part, the Masons take part in a couple fundraising opportunities.

On busy travel weekends like Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, the Masons set up at one of the exits on the eastbound side of I-84 to offer travelers food such as hotdogs, coffee and other snacks. The food is given away to travelers, though they do collect donations.

The travelers are always appreciative, and it proves to be one good cause helping another.

They also work a food stand during the GDS Fair.

Raising this money is a collaborative effort with the Masons, their families and the GDS fair. The families all do their part, taking turns serving up delicious foods at the fair. A portion of the proceeds from the food stand go directly to efforts such as the basket donations.

Giving back is a common theme, and it's not just baskets. Just this past weekend, the Masons put on a free Christmas themed dinner at the lodge. Almost sixty people came out to enjoy dinner and companionship.

For a time of the year that can be especially hard for those who have hit hard times or experienced loss, these gestures make all the difference.

“That's where we see the most need is at holiday time,” said Howell.

All that work comes together to make this time of the year a little brighter for those in need.