Mariyah Gressler, a first-time volunteer with the Little Falls Volunteer Corps loads Christmas food baskets into her car for delivery to needy residents of Little Falls.

by Dave Warner

Once again, volunteers in Little Falls stepped up to the plate to make sure that needy families received a package with a holiday meal. For some, this was their first time getting involved with the Little Falls Volunteer Corps, for others, they were back for more.

One of the newcomers was Mariyah Gressler, a younger volunteer, who has lived in Little Falls all her life, and she stated, “I just like that I can connect with new people and that I’m able to become involved in my community. I just wanted to find more ways to give back.”

Her day job is working at a nursing home as an LPN and she said, “I found the volunteer group through Facebook and one of my coworkers had also volunteered here and she had mentioned it as well. So, I looked it up and signed up to deliver the meals. I’m a nurse, so I think it’s naturally rooted in me to try to help others, so that’s what I’m doing.”

Judy Ruffing was back for a second time and she said, “We’re are giving out baskets today for those that are needing them for Christmas. With the pandemic, there are more and more people who need things and I think this is a very nice gesture. We did it for Thanksgiving as well and that was great.”

Ruffing said that she’s more than happy to do this and stated, “Katie Drake got me involved in this, and before that, I was not even aware of it. So, I will be a regular for the holidays.”

Before the COVID-19 crisis began, one in nine people, including 10 million children, already lived in a food-insecure household.

“Unfortunately hunger impacts Americans every day of the year, but we know that this holiday season will look much different than last. More families are accessing food banks than ever before, and many of them for the very first time, which is why it’s really important for everyone to come together to help fight hunger this holiday season,” says Casey Marsh, chief development officer for Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

While the issue of hunger is timely during the holidays, it doesn’t stop once the season is over. Year-round philanthropy, volunteerism, and innovative efforts like drive-up food banks, can help meet the needs of families across Little Falls and America.

If you would like to volunteer to help with any of the other activities that the Little Falls Volunteer Corps has identified, please fill out their convenient form to be added to the database, find them on Facebook or email

Photo by Dave Warner – (l-r) Sue Tucker, Judy Ruffing, and Katie Drake load groceries into the trunk of their car.