A Season of Giving

By Karole Passmore

holiday givingSo many organizations brought joy to families this Christmas season, but one story sticks out amongst them, as two people decide to make Christmas Day for families a happy one.

Organizations like Kicks 96/101.7, in conjunction with Wayne Bank, offered Help for the Holidays by supporting two non-profits: Second Helpings: Holiday Fun Meal and Toys For Tots with a canned food and toy drive.  Others include First Bank Richmond, whose employees made 40 children happier through their angel tree, as well as donating toys and money to Second Helpings, and helping a family of six with last minute relief.  Many area churches also provided food baskets, toys and support to families in need.  It was truly a season of giving.

But one story needs to be told of a generosity that became personal.  Joe Creech and Bob Heil, small business owners of Hometown Caterers, decided to run a contest for families in need, to be nominated for a full course meal on Christmas Day. The prize was to be awarded to three deserving families.

Joe explained, “we have wants, like most people, but not needs.”  He adds that they decided to give to those in need rather than spending for themselves.

Joe and Bob made their choices from the entries, and called those who nominated a family to let them know so they could give the families the good news.  One family touched Joe particularly because out of the five children, the youngest, five years old, is currently receiving chemo treatments.  He said he understood their struggles because cancer had hit their family as well.

He said it was a difficult decision to make for them so instead of offering three families Christmas dinner, they gave one to five families.  And the good news he shared was that Bethesda Ministries took the rest of the list of nominated families and provided food to each of them.  Joe adds that they hope to do this for years to come.  As with all who give, what one gets back is so much greater.

One of the recipents of the meals, the mother of the child with cancer, shared “we are all so thankful…they did a great job.”  She added that they also gave the kids toys and that her youngest son, normally a picky eater due to the chemo treatments, ate the ham and macaroni and cheese and enjoyed it. The meals were delivered on Christmas Day.

We never know the far-reaching impact that we may have on the lives of others by giving in times of need.  But the relief of a mother who is fighting every day for the health and well-being of her children is a great testimony to the power of helping others.  This will be a Christmas season that will live in hers and many other hearts for years to come.

Hometown Caterers is available for catering and will be opening soon on Main Street in uptown Richmond for eating in.  To contact them you can write to hometowncaterers@gmail.com.

*Note: Karole Passmore, author, is also an employee of First Bank Richmond and founder of Second Helpings: Summer Fun Cookouts for Kids & Holiday Meal.





Signs Of The Season…

If you are wondering just where the Christmas spirit is…wonderful signs of giving are everywhere if you just keep your ears and eyes open.

This morning as I started my day I heard sirens coming down the street–and saw many police and sheriff cars pulling into Meijer.  They were taking children shopping for Christmas.  And as I peered out the door I saw a sheriff take the hand of a tiny little girl in a pink coat.  I must admit my eyes teared up a little just seeing such a display of caring.

Sometimes as we rush through the holiday season, we miss the signs of love and compassion all around us.  They are happening every day from the Toys For Tots sponsored by the Marine Corp to todays gift of taking a kid shopping sponsored by Meijer and the Richmond Police Department, and in many other smaller but significant ways.

If you have a story of giving this Season- please share. 

Happy Holidays!