Happy New Year from the JLDOC! As the holiday season comes to a close, we reflect on the many things we are thankful for. One of the greatest aspects of the League is that its members have a variety of opportunities to express their gratitude by sharing their time and talents with our community year-round. Here are just a few of the ways we worked with community-based organizations to spread a little holiday cheer this holiday season.
We partnered with our Community Focus partner, Farmer Foodshare, for several events this season to help make fresh food available to the community. Many Saturday mornings were spent collecting produce donations at local farmers markets. Members and “Little Leaguers” also packed bags of fresh produce donations for food pantries for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Some of us also helped prepare one of their community meals at Reality Ministries, an organization that helps underserved populations, such as people with developmental disabilities, find a sense of belonging.
We also worked with several longtime partners throughout Durham and Orange counties. Many volunteered at PORCH in Durham and Chapel Hill to bag hundreds of pounds of dried goods that were later delivered to pantries across the area. Thanks to the generosity of the local communities, we were able to fill the bags with a little extra for the holidays.
Several members went to The Ronald McDonald House of Durham to prepare brunch for families staying at the House. Many of the residents were grateful for a warm, home-cooked meal before heading to the hospital to support their loved ones.
Dress for Success Triangle NC, an organization that works with women to achieve economic independence, needed help organizing clothing donations for their boutique, and the JLDOC delivered. Women who receive coaching from the organization are able to select a professional outfit for their first interview, and the boutique makes professional attire affordable for women in the greater community.
Santa needed a little extra help this year, and some of our elves worked with the East Durham Children’s Initiative to help parents select and wrap Christmas gifts for their children. Every child received a book thanks to the generous donations from Book Harvest. EDCI provides a variety of high quality services, such as school readiness programs, to children of all age groups in one of the Triangle’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.
This year the Museum of Life and Science hosted its 40th Annual Santa Train. Families traveling by rail to the North Pole enjoyed face painting, hot chocolate and festive lights and music. Members also helped some of the travelers celebrate the season with holiday crafts along the way.
We at the JLDOC are thankful for the many community partners and families who make our giving possible, and we look forward to building on these efforts in 2018.
What are some of the ways you choose to share your gratitude?