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december 12th pick up

      It might just be the holiday season right around the corner or the Christmas music that fills the air, but there is always an inexplainable amount of excitement when it comes to our last pick up of the year. As if we know that it will be our biggest one yet and that all the struggling families who seek our services will soon get the care they so need. 

     We were so excited to host a small group of all new volunteers as well as some familiar faces who help around the Hunger and Health Coalition. No matter their walk in life, they had one thing on their mind as they walked through the double doors of the HHC: help as many people as they could that morning. The weather was brisk, Christmas music and decorations filled the air (maybe a little too much) and their were warm treats waiting for drivers and all of the volunteers. Each volunteer wore their mask and there was hand sanitizer laid out all around the stations. We take COVID seriously around here, if one of our clients were to get it we would be heartbroken. 

     Days before A Simple Gesture had started to their Business Pick Ups. So many businesses wanted double the amount of bags this go around. Our volunteer drivers Kerri, Margaret and Hutch set out on Friday to pick up the more than 30 businesses that support our mission here at A Simple Gesture. Everyone ended up having to make two trips! The week before Samaritan's Purse dropped off their donation with us coming in at a whopping 800 pounds. We knew this would be the start of something special. So many new organizations hopped on board with us for the holiday season. Lees McRae College High Country Alumni Chapter wanted to have their holiday food drive with A Simple Gesture. Each of their members donated a green bag bringing in their total to more than 300 pounds. However, the Town of Boone took the cake. Trolley among trolley was needed to bring in their haul of almost a thousand pounds of food. We think they may have had a little competition going on over there. We saved the best for last; Alair Homes. Our friend Whitney Brown with Alair Homes challenged the company to bring in more than 300 bags for A Simple Gesture and dang did they deliver. We typically see 300 bags come in from ALL of our businesses but to come from one? We were up for the challenge. Whitney worked extremely hard to get all bags filled and delivered to the HHC, our shelves are still overflowing with their donation. 

      Our residents and business's were asked to fill their bag with items that would help our clients here at the HHC to make their own Christmas meals. Cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, pretty much anything that would help a family in need ensure they had every chance of having their own beautiful Christmas dinner. We were overwhelmed at the amount of goodies we saw that were perfect for a Christmas meal. There was stuffing, cranberry sauce, every vegetable imaginable, gravy, even some Christmas treats. Our clients have thoroughly enjoyed all the items they received the days following our pick up.

       Once all the residential drivers and business pick ups were dropped off our volunteers got straight to work. There was food lining the hallways, the back hallways, in the conference room, in a random closet we have never used. There was food everywhere. Luckily James, our trusty pantry helper knew exactly where everything went and helped the volunteers to mark the food properly. The volunteers sorted through the food in a matter of minutes it felt like, we think the Christmas music might have helped. Mackenzie with Artemis Independence was there to photograph everything. The day before she was doing a story on the Hunger and Health Coalition and wanted to document how things were run with A Simple Gesture. She ended up liking it so much she stayed and helped us sort even after the fact! 

     After a couple of hours all the food had been sorted and our volunteers packed up and went home. The before and after pictures of our pantry were unrecognizable. We could not believe that in just four hours there was not an inch left on our pantry shelves. We knew this pick up would be magical before it even began. 

     You've heard this saying before; this year has been like no other but holy cow has this year literally been like no other. Our people are hurting day in and day out and each of these green bags lights their spirits up. Thank you so much for an incredible pick up. You may think that your green bag has little to no effect on this community but let me tell you, you are wrong. It makes all the difference. 

Check out Mackenzie's work below and to get a better feel of what we do around the Hunger and Health Coalition check out their Boonies feature on us!

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

Taken by Mackenzie Bruckner

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A Simple Gesture: High Country 

A charitable arm of the Hunger and Health Coalition

Physical Address: 141 Health Center Drive, Suite C

Boone, NC 28607

Mailing Address: PO Box 1837 Boone NC 28607