Anyone who knows me, knows that I try to see the positive in everything I do and say. I pour my heart into all I do at work, at play, in giving to others and in life.
It has always been that way to me. No matter how difficult a challenge or situation is, I always try to find the good in it all. The glass is always half full in my life.
With that being said, I love Christmas and the giving and receiving of gifts. I have such wonderful memories of family gatherings and waking up on Christmas morning and finding a gift from Santa and many other gifts under the tree. Even in the lean years, my family has always found a way to give. In my 61 years on this earth, I have always received gifts at Christmastime. And I am thankful for it all.
That is not the case for many. Some people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, company downsizing and closings, or have fallen on hard times due to life’s many challenges. Hardships and life challenges have no season for many families struggling to make ends meet.
With the help of Darla Wilson at the Montezuma Ministerial Alliance, who also serves as welfare secretary and treasurer of the Salvation Army, I have compiled a list of area agencies and outreaches in Poweshiek County and beyond who can use a helping hand in their efforts to make a difference in the lives of others.
If you have a few extra dollars, some new socks or mittens, a box of food or a toy, you can make a difference in someone’s life, especially during the Christmas season. Giving to others never gets old and any amount is always welcome.
A list of area food pantries and outreaches:
• Montezuma Food Pantry, 501 N. Front St. Tax deductible donations can be sent to Montezuma Food Pantry, c/o treasurer Deb VerMeer, P.O. Box 189, Montezuma, IA 50171. For more information, call Wilson at 641-623-3275 or reach out to pantry director, Ashley Wenke.
• Brooklyn Food Pantry, 103 W. Front St. Donations can be sent to the Brooklyn Community Food Bank c/o First State Bank, 104 Jackson St., Brooklyn, IA 52211 or contact food bank director, Mary Carlson, at 641-522-9283.
• Mid Iowa Community Action (MICA) Food Pantry, 611 4th Ave., Grinnell. For more information visit: www.micaonline.org or call 641-236-3923.
• Poweshiek County (Malcom) Mobile Food Pantry. The first Wednesday of every month from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at the Malcom Auditorium. Contact Dawn Hamilton at 641-990-4300 for more information.
• Malcom Food Pantry, every Thursday from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Malcom Methodist Church. Contact Dawn Hamilton at 641-990-4300 for more information.
• Heart to Heart Food Pantry, a privately funded outreach of Lynnville Heart of Worship. The pantry reaches a several county area and is open every second Saturday of the month from 9 – 11 a.m. or by appointment. The outreach is under the direction of Rhonda Pool. For more information visit the Heart to Heart Facebook page or call the church at 641-527-2758. Donations can be sent to Lynnville Heart of Worship, 14283 Highway F62 East, Lynnville, IA 50251.
• Back Pack Programs, a food program at Montezuma, BGM and Grinnell schools. For more information, contact the school in your district.
• Dollar General, Montezuma - Locally sponsored toy and sock drive for the Montezuma Ministerial Association Clothes Closet.
• Montezuma Clothes Closet – an outreach sponsored by the Montezuma Ministerial Association and supported through community donations of goods and monetary gifts.. The Clothes Closet, 109 S. 4th St., Unit C, provides free clothing, toys and household goods. The Clothes Closet is open on Tuesday from 12 – 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For information, contact Wilson at 641-623-3275.
• Salvation Army Poweshiek County Service Extension #261, an outreach that provides funding for schools and families through the Red Kettle Drive. For every dollar donated, 90 cents stays in Poweshiek County. Donations can be sent to the Salvation Army, c/o First Presbyterian Evangelical Church, P.O. Box 189, Montezuma, IA 50171. All donations are tax deductible.
• Toys for Tots, a Marine program that distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. To learn more, visit www.toysfortots.org
In wrapping up this week’s column, I learned of a displaced family with children who needs an affordable place to live. They are not the only family homeless at this time of the year. I encourage people to look beyond their own trials and struggles: it’s better to give than to receive. For more information on how to make a donation to help a displaced family, contact Wilson at 641-623-3275.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.