The most impoverished zip code in the entire state of Washington is located in our territory. Nearly three quarters of students at the public schools around us qualify for free or reduced lunch. The need surrounding us is great.
On December 21st, our store gave a complete turkey dinner to 100 of our neediest local families. The dinner included a 14 lbs. turkey, canned sides, a bag of potatoes, rolls and a pumpkin pie. Families were identified by guidance counselors at four local elementary schools. From the employees who volunteered their time, to local businesses who donated sides at reduced cost, to the service group from a nearby University who helped us prep for the big day, the turnout and support we received was remarkable. Even our local news station show up! Nearly all the turkey dinners were picked up by the families or delivered to their homes by our volunteers.
There were a few families who did not come and whom we could not contact, and so these extra dinners we delivered to clients in the neighborhood. One of these clients lives just down the street from our office. When she opened her door to find our manager standing there with a box of food, she burst into tears. “How did you know?” she cried, “How did you know that we had no food?”
We hope to continue growing our partnership with local businesses so that next year, we can increase the number of Christmas meals provided to 200. We see a lot of need in our community, and though it is easy to become overwhelmed by that need, there is comfort in knowing that in a small way, we are making a difference.