Create Holiday Memories

My favorite time of year is fast approaching. Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas and the New Year are filled with family, friends, shopping, and holiday music. It’s a time to be thankful for what we have and hopeful for the upcoming New Year. The holidays can be hectic and overwhelming too and so I find time to do what I enjoy most. I volunteer. I package food for Kids Fighting Hunger and help distribute toys to local families through a program that is sponsored in partnership with Catholic Charities Emergency Services and the Marine Corps. I feel a sense of peace and happiness to see parents relieved that their children will wake up with presents under the tree and food on the table for dinner.

Local hunger has increased dramatically in Central Minnesota. The fourth annual “We Are Thankful” food packaging event is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, 2016. This event is designed to give 600+ families, adults and children in our community a chance to help provide some much needed food to families in Central Minnesota and in Sierra Leone. Click here to register and volunteer for only two hours to help feed our community.

There are many ways to share your talents to help ease the stress of the holiday season. Please consider supporting local agencies that help families during the busiest time of year. Perhaps your company could do a holiday donation needs drive or volunteer. Local agencies that have holiday programming include Anna Marie’s Alliance, The Salvation Army, Place of Hope, Catholic Charities Emergency Services and CROSS Center in Foley. Agency donation needs include toys, groceries, personal care items, winter coats and gift cards. Click here to view the full listing of holiday donation needs in Central Minnesota. Let’s make sure children in our community have the holiday they deserve.

The best New Year’s resolution is to volunteer. Visit the United Way Volunteer Connection page and consider volunteering with local youth. To learn more contact Mary Krippner at 320-223-7991 or email.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Written by: Mary Krippner, United Way Volunteer Engagement Coordinator