Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down – March 5


Helping hands

Thumbs up to the Crothersville FFA members and other volunteers who turned out in force Saturday to help distribute 1,092 35-pound boxes loaded with food for people in Crothersville and Vernon Township. The event was the first Farmers to Families Food Box distribution effort in Jackson County. The program, started in the spring of 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, involves farmers selling food previously destined for restaurants and bulk purchasers to distributors, preventing waste. Distributors then partner with the USDA to package family-sized boxes with fresh produce, dairy and meat products and transport them to schools, food banks, faith-based organizations and other nonprofits to hand out.


Thumbs up to Brownstown Central High School senior Abby Stuckwisch for finishing runner-up in the Best Your Best Self essay contest in the Distinguished Young Women of Indiana competition held virtually Feb. 25 through 27. Stuckwisch, who finished in the top 10 overall, also was a preliminary winner in the self-expression and scholar categories. Contestants had to submit several videos for the competition.

Overseeing success

Thumbs up to Bonita Dobbs, who recently resigned from Jackson County United Way. The organization’s program manager since 2013, Dobbs oversaw the growth of several programs, including the Rock’n Ready school supply distribution initiative, Day of Caring and Free Income Tax Assistance. In all, Dobbs said she was honored to assist more than 9,300 volunteers during her time with United Way. Here’s to honoring her for her work.

Fostering care

Thumbs up to the many couples, including Jennifer and Matt Smith of Brownstown and Tamara and Timothy Woodring of Bartholomew County, who who decided to become foster parents, offering a loving, stable environment for children in need. There are about 9,294 kids in foster care in Indiana, and that’s a number that changes every day, said Ashley Welch, regional director of Benchmark Family Services. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder to find foster parents, especially for older children. For information about becoming a foster parent, call 812-799-0871 or visit or

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