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“I really appreciate this, truly I do,” Jane told me as we discussed holiday baskets over the phone. “It’s been so rough these past few months, my husband lost his job, and both my parents have long term illnesses, we’re caring for them, but my job takes up all my time and…” Her voice trailed off on the other end of the phone as her emotions took over. This holiday season I’ve received many calls from individuals like Jane, but all different voices, different stories, different pains. Each person or family has a different reason to request a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal this year, and all have need.
A few days later I opened my email to see a note from a provider who shared a bit about herself. Sarah and her friends had participated in the Access Countywide Food Drive and had enjoyed the experience so much that they decided they would like to help out a family in need by buying and delivering food items for a Thanksgiving meal. Sarah and her friends are in the 3rd grade.
Its stories from individuals like Jane and Sarah that energizes the Access Pantry Network to continue facilitating the Holiday Giving Network year after year. Last year, 7,000 families in need were matched with willing providers due to an incredible community response. This year we are urgently in need of Thanksgiving basket providers; with the holiday only a week away we need hundreds of families to be provided with a turkey and all the fixings to create their own holiday meal.
If your family, office or church group is able to help provide a basket, gift card or monetary donation please call Emma at 774-2175 x5 or visit our website at www.AccessofWestMichigan.org and fill out a Holiday Basket Provider form.
Celebrating the activity of God in our midst, the mission of Access is to be a faith-based leader in linking congregational, individual, and community resources to eliminate hunger and reduce the impact of poverty in Kent County. We provide a place for the community to act--for those with resources and talents to interact and problem-solve with the big issues of poverty and people in need. Our services fall under three initiatives: Hunger Response, Congregation Connections, and Poverty Education.