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Fallston couple collects food for the needy year round

Sponsors can tour the Jimmyville train exhibit
Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 17:43:13-05

The train circles the circus, while people ride the bumper cars, try their hand at the carnival games and watch the elephants walk by.

And in the next town over, commuters sit in traffic jams with trains moving every which way while the Goodyear blimp flies above.

Welcome to the Town of Jimmyville.

The elaborate train exhibit is in the basement of Jim and Doris Ullrich's home. Jim says it started as a hobby and grew bigger over the years.

Eight years ago, the Ullrichs decided to share the magical experience with others but for a price.

"We ask for people to be sponsors by giving us 15 canned goods, then they can be a sponsor of Jimmyville," said Jim.

In the first year of their Jimmyville food drive, they collected 740 pounds of food and had 18 sponsors. The next year, they doubled the amount of food.

To date, they've given out 100,000 pounds of food to charities, mostly in Harford County.

"We didn't know the need was out there as much as it is, and then each year it just gets bigger," said Doris.

The Ullrichs collect food from February to February and wait until after the holidays to drop off the donations.

"We noticed when we went to the food pantries (in January) their shelves are going empty already," said Jim.

Every January, they invite the food sponsors to their home to tour Jimmyville.

Between collecting and distributing the food and maintaining Jimmyville, it is a labor of love for this couple. Its a mission Jim and Doris will continue to do as long as they're able.

"We enjoy doing it for the simple reason people are hungry all year round. That’s why we started the food drive all year round, its not just for the holidays," Jim said.

Jim and Doris are inviting people to their home at 2203 Hampshire Drive in Fallston on Sunday December 17 from 1-4 p.m. to take pictures with Santa. They have a small railroad crossing set up in their front yard. The photos are free but donations are appreciated. The Town of Jimmyville will not be open for tours.