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Christmas Came Early for 99 Families

The Mary Lee Maier Community Pantry serves Avon families each Thursday — with a few exceptions for holidays — throughout the year. Their mission is to ensure no Avon student needs to go to school hungry. (You can hear the pantry's Director Kristi Kerr talk about their work in this episode of Oriole In-The-Know.) 

This Thursday was different because clients had the chance to select gifts for their children and family members that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Thanks to the dedication of a small group of pantry volunteers and donations and support from multiple corporations and individuals, Christmas came early for 99 Avon families.

Kristi Kerr, the pantry's Director, sent an email to her team to recap the event, and she allowed us to include an excerpt:

What an amazing night last night was for our families. We served 99 families and 400 individuals. So many stories to share from the Holiday Giveaway, but I wanted to share a few!

  • A mom who was able to get a Christmas present for her child
  • A woman who was going to send some items back to her family in her home country, and told me how happy they would be
  • A little boy with the adorable smile and a new toy sword
  • Another little guy so excited about his new Colts hat
  • A family who was the proud owners of a new bike with huge smiles as they loaded it up
  • One of our family members telling our volunteer that she was kind
  • A teacher who stopped me when we were setting up to tell me how important what we do is because when she was little, she was a child whose family benefited from something like this because they were going through a rough time
  • A hug from one of our clients who I hadn’t seen in a long time

It’s these little reminders that what we do truly makes a difference in the lives of our families. Each one has a story, and we don’t always know it. But what I was reflecting on this morning was how many people have left their home countries to make a new life, and found their way to Avon and us, and how just a kind smile or word may make all the difference in their day. Or how many are just down right now and need some help to just make it through today.

If you're looking for an opportunity to get involved as a volunteer or an organization to include in your charitable giving, consider the Mary Lee Maier Community Pantry. They are doing a wonderful job caring for our neighbors who need help and encouragement.


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