I was sitting in a meeting the other day and as the conversation swirled around me, I heard someone on the other side of the table talking about making charitable donations in lieu of gifts for Christmas. That is just what my sister and I decided to do this year.
We started talking about it back in the fall when the "What do you want for Christmas?" topic came up. We tossed around some ideas: buying a wood stove for a Native American family; giving a sheep or cow or water buffalo through Heifer; something bigger than Toys for Tots or picking a card off the giving tree at the supermarket. My sister works closely with her local food pantry; growing vegetables for them in the summer. In the end, we settled on writing checks to them. It is local, there is a desperate need and she had a connection.
I had never been in a food pantry, so I wanted to drop off the check in person. The Marysville Food Pantry services 140 families. Each family can come in once a month to get a box of staples, dry goods, 3 packages of meat, some sweets, fresh fruits and vegetables (in season - what my sister donates for example.) as well as some health items on demand.
The folks do not get to choose their items from the shelves, instead are given a pre-loaded box. The size of the box depends on the size of the family. The pantry is only one day a week for a few hours but accepts donations in the mornings on the other days. It is run by volunteers and is an amazing place. It was the best gift to give and receive. Thanks, Sissy this was a great idea!!!