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