Every year since 2004, Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA has organized “Giving Back” to help out local families during the holidays.
From books to food and toiletries, this program makes a big difference for over 220 families.
A number of years ago I was challenged to think about what Christmas meant to me and then to bring that feeling to the store. I immediately thought of the spirit of giving and knew that was what is most important to me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this but decided my goal was to fill a rather large display window in our store with non-perishable food donations. I didn’t reach my goal, but did end up with 2 skids of assorted food to donate to our local food bank. I knew I would do it again the following year with even greater success.
Fast forward a year and in stepped the Burnleys’ with the idea that we make this a Village wide event. We started off with a food and toiletry drive for 75 families. With the help of many elves, far too many to mention, we are now giving back to 250 families in our local community. This is all funded by donations small and large. The families get all the food needed to make a holiday dinner and even have milk, bread, butter, and fresh fruit. We have tables of books set up for everyone to have pick a book to call their own. In past years we have partnered with Project Undercare who set tables up with packages of underwear for all the kids. Since Project Undercare is no longer, we have now started our own underwear drive. We collect new packages of underwear throughout the year at various shops and even celebrate National Underwear Day (where we collect underwear donations)!
The last Friday before Christmas, the families are invited to Kitchen Kettle Village to pick up their treasures. While here, the kids can experience some of the joy of Christmas by decorating a gingerbread cookie, toasting a marshmallow to make a s’more, all compliments of the Burnleys’. The laughter and fun is contagious. I can’t help but hope the evening fills their spirits with the joy of life and someday they can give back to someone else in need.
What an amazing event this has become and many are blessed because of it. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be able to share some of my blessings with others but also so heart wrenching to think there is such a need.
Check out our video of packing boxes for our 2016 Giving Back.
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Manager, Village Quilts