Peru woman conducts food drive for Dixfield, Peru food pantries

DIXFIELD — It didn’t matter to Barbara Lane that temperatures on Friday ranged from the single digits to the teens, or that wind chills fell below zero.

While standing beside a table in the parking lot at Log Cabin Craftworks beside Route 2, the Peru native was giving away Christmas Story T-shirts she’d designed and made at her Norway business, in exchange for five non-perishable items or $5.

RUMtshirts4food1P121413From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lane was trying to collect food and non-perishable items to donate to the Dixfield Common Food Bank and the Servant’s Heart Food Pantry in Peru. This is her sixth annual Hot Colors Screen Printing & Design Food Drive.

“We’ve done so good today,” Lane said. “People have been so generous. I did wonderful last year, and this year is even better. I’ve had a lot of cash donations and I’ve even had people send me money from Arizona, and some people from Jefferson came and donated a huge basket of food. Jefferson’s got to be at least a two-hour drive from here.”

Lane will also be collecting food and goods and donations and giving away T-shirts from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Peru fire station.

She brought 206 shirts to Friday’s food drive. On the front is a design with the word “Joy,” spelled out using a candy cane, critters and a Nutcracker toy soldier. That is surrounded by the Christmas story from Luke 2:8-14, in the shape of a Christmas ornament with a blue star-laden band that Lane described as the aurora borealis.

The back of the shirt sports thank-yous to her helpers.

“It’s not a ‘holiday’ design; it’s a ‘Christmas’ design,” Lane said. “If I can give away 200 of them, I’m happy. It’s fun. I have a blast designing these. I really do. I’ll do it as long as I can.”

RUMtshirts4food5P121413To stave off the cold, Lane wore a long, heavy black coat, at least two scarves around her neck and a long, red, white and black knit hat with what looked like pig’s ears sprouting from it.

“Everybody says, ‘You picked the coldest day,’ but I have warm clothes to wear and a warm house to return to,” she said.

Lane’s 81-year-old mother, with whom she’s lived for 56 years, was inside Log Cabin Craftworks, sorting food and goods to give to the two food pantries.

Barbara Lane was also selling chances on an 14-inch-tall American Girl-type doll, for which Elizabeth Lane had made three outfits. The doll is wearing a blue floral, country-style dress with a bonnet, both trimmed in lace, with a blue ribbon that Barbara Lane said her mom won after entering the ensemble in the Cumberland Fair.

“She’s very giving-friendly,” Norine Clarke, Barbara’s cousin, said of the younger Lane. Clarke co-owns Log Cabin Craftworks with her husband, Ralph Clarke.

“She does this because she wants to give back,” Norine Clarke said.

“I just wanted to do something good,” Barbara Lane said.