Jordyn Searles, 7, one of the carolers at Historic Germantown’s Johnson House and the 6300 Germantown Avenue Alliance’s holiday event, observes some of the food baskets that would be distributed later that evening. — Tribune Photo by Samaria Bailey

Historic Germantown’s Johnson House and the 6300 Germantown Avenue Alliance celebrated the holiday season with a food basket give-away and caroling event on Thursday.

Alliance business owners and Johnson House reps, along with several families, kicked off the evening at 5:00 p.m. with caroling – walking up one side of the 6300 block of Germantown Ave., and coming back down the other, singing a range of tunes – including “Deck the Halls,” “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” and “Silent Night.”

Afterwards, they reconvened at the Johnson House for refreshments and to distribute the food baskets.

Organizers said this was the 5th year of the celebration.

“We are in an area that has a wide range of incomes, so there are definitely families in this vicinity that can use the assistance,” said Deborah Gary, Vice President of the Alliance. “It’s another way we give back to the community.” And the caroling, she said, “is to get everybody in the holiday spirit, reminding them of the reason for the season.”

The baskets were filled with canned and dry goods, rolls, produce – potatoes, celery, onions, yams, apples and clementines – and a turkey.

All of the businesses a part of the Alliance – Color Book Gallery, A&D Hair Salon, Fuller’s Shoe Shop, The Ascension Group, Pathfinders Travel, Jones Beauty Studio, Kaman and Erlan – Eke Art, Au Revoir Travel Agency, Butler Prestige Photography, Lucien Crump Gallery, Commons and Commons LLP, Concord School House and the Johnson House – donated to the effort.

Delores Turlington, a mother who brought her two children – 8 and 11-years-old – to the caroling and received a basket, said the offering “helps for the holiday” because she is currently working part-time.

Pastor Anthony Beard, of Temple of Prayer Ministries, picked up a basket for an 81-year-old grandmother who attends his church.

“She has a house full of grandchildren,” he said. “She is [also] retired and finances don’t last like they used to. …we appreciate this in these days and time. ”

Kristi Richardson and her daughter, Kristina, travelled from Fox Chase just to be a part of the caroling.

“I miss [it],” said Kristi. “It’s what we used to do a long time ago but I don’t see it anymore.” Richardson added that the weather, which was hovering at freezing and included snow flurries, was not a deterrent, she said, because every year “I say I want to go Christmas caroling. It’s fun, it brings out the holiday spirit and it makes you feel good.”

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