The holiday season can be really difficult. For people who are lonely, sick, or lost their job there may not be much of a dinner or any presents under the tree this year.
We feel really lucky to have had so much support from the community and wanted to give something back. But when we put out our call for nominations of who to help, we were shocked at the number of responses.
One person who wrote to us nominated a single mother and a grandmother who have done everything they can to give opportunities to their son/grandson. The mother was diagnosed with MS and the grandmother with cancer, both in the last two years.
Then there was a wonderful aunt who took in her nephew instead of giving him to foster care. She has health issues and a son who struggles with autism, but she would rather help someone else than make her own life easier.
We were also struck by the story of a deserving father who is a widower with 6 children. Their mother passed away unexpectedly in 2007 and their dad has continued to work hard comforting his children. He is a role model to his son and his kids say he is “a true testament of what a father should be”.
After spending three years in homelessness herself, one of our nominators understands how difficult it is to be without shelter. So she nominated a family she barely knows but who lost their home to a house fire a few days ago. They have no clothes, shoes, or possessions.
The stories continued. There was a man who lost his wife during surgery and another who suffered a brain injury himself. One family saw their son paralyzed in an ATV accident this July, another lost a baby, and still another is dealing with their third grader’s bone cancer.
With this much suffering, how do you decide whom to help? We decided to help all of them, and six other families besides. Katie Marturano, our marketing and events director, says it’s a way to pay back some of the kindness we’ve received as a company.
“We love to be able to give back not only to our guests but to their friends and family,” Katie says. “We’ve been fortunate enough to grow, and now we want to give back to those who aren’t able to come in and dine with us frequently.”
Home cooking is what we know best and we knew we wanted to provide a meal to each of these families. We’ve invited each of these families in for a hot scratch-made meal from our family at Black Woods.
Sometimes the holidays can be painful. This year, we’re doing what we can to ease the pain.