Volunteers Sort Food for the American Leagion's Open Your Heart - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Volunteers Sort Food for the American Leagion's Open Your Heart Charity.

Bismarck, ND -

The Bismarck Civic Center looks more like Santa's workshop today.  Volunteers are busy getting food ready for the American Legion's Open Your Heart charity. 

Santa isn't the only one with helpers this holiday season.  Over the next two days, more than 500 volunteers will help sort and deliver food for the American Legion's Open Your Heart charity.

"It's really exciting just to see all of these people show up. Sometimes, we have volunteers here year after year. Lots of people show up brand new, have never done anything before to help us out," said Bob Wefald with the American Legion.

This is the 82nd year, the American Legion has collected food for people in need.  They've raised over $68,000 for this year's drive. Plus, local schools donated more than 400 boxes of food to the cause.

"It's kind of happy because people want to help our community and some families that are in need, " said volunteer Justice Dacoteau.

"It's so rewardin," said volunteer Diane Haan. "It's fun to know the end results. When you know about what happens from here, tomorrow the deliveries get made to people who need it badly."

373 families are set to receive these donations just in time for the holidays.  Bob Wefald with the American Legion says the agency will serve about 60 families more than last year.

"There are more people coming in looking for jobs and I think we are seeing, when you see a lot of people's success you always see people that have more needs than others," Wefald said.

By opening their hearts, these volunteers will fill the hearts of others.

"There are some years that it just blows you away," Haan said. "This is one of them. It's wonderful. We have a giving community."

If you want to help, you can show up at the Civic Center at 7pm Thursday or at 7:30am Friday. 

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