From Agatha Cavaiani of Kingsford:
With all the gift giving, caroling, wagon rides, school and music programs, community dinners, food and organization donations, parties and tree trimming and the unbelievable generosity of this community, remember the reason for the season, worship in your own way, and hope, peace and joy in the coming year for our great nation, and for each and every one of us.
From Mindy Lewis of Iron Mountain:
I am writing to let the community know how very grateful me and my family are this year. The year began very difficult for me and my two girls. I was not working and was staying home with my two girls. It was hard to find a full time job that I could only work during the day due to not having day care. I often sat around at night wondering how I was gonna give my two girls a Christmas because I had no income.
After countless nights of no sleep and sitting awake thinking they would wake up to a tree with maybe one gift apiece and hear how others had so many gifts from Santa, I just thought, well at least we have a warm home and food on our table. Things were starting to look up when I received more hours at work and was able to get a small paycheck to get my one and 3-year-old girls a couple things from the dollar store. Then while at work one day I received a call from Kmart. I knew they were probably gonna tell me that they had to put my layaway back due to no payment so I ignored the call and they left a message.
After a short time, something told me to listen to that message, so I did and on the other end was a very cheery happy woman who told me that she had amazing news. She then said that a Christmas angel paid for my layaway and I could come pick up my items. I instantly had tears running down my face, and a big load off my shoulders.
I could not believe somebody would do this for me and my girls. I never had anything so nice done for me.
I then later realized that the Christmas angel did this for a lot of people in our community. I was even more happy knowing that many children in our community would also have a wonderful holiday.
I want this special person to know that because of your kind heart you have made my girls and many other children very happy, and I am so grateful and very excited to wake up with my girls Christmas morning and see the look on there faces when they open there gifts.
May God bless you and thank you so very much, you are truly an angel.
Sheri LeBombard, DCH Thanksgiving Dinner Volunteer Coordinator:
A sincere thank you goes out to all the area volunteers who assisted with the preparation, delivery, serving, and clean up of the annual Dickinson County Healthcare System Thanksgiving Dinner. Six hundred and 10 meals were delivered to community members by 50 volunteer drivers and an additional 135 visitors and employees enjoyed a wonderful holiday meal in our hospital dining area thanks to all of your efforts.
To Karen Kollmann and the DCHS Food & Nutrition Services staff, thank you for everything done in advance to order and prepare the food to feed 745 extra people on a single day. Thank you to Bishop Baraga Catholic School who provided us with table decorations. Thank you to the early morning crew who set up the dining room and cut and packaged up the pumpkin pie. As the new volunteer coordinator this year I was overwhelmed with the phone calls from community members wanting to be part of this volunteer effort. Many, many volunteers come back year after year and perform their familiar roles, making the "assembly line" process of getting that many meals boxed and ready to go look easy. To the volunteer drivers who stood in line to get their "assigned routes" and delivered hot meals not only locally, but as far away as Sagola, Homestead and Fence, thank you for your time and willingness to deliver meals to those unable to get out on their own. To the families who worked in our dining room - thank you for sharing your holiday with those that didn't have anyone to celebrate with. To those who came and worked in the kitchen to do dishes, you took one of the least glamorous jobs without complaint.
To Sharon Hagberg, the original volunteer coordinator of this event and Jan Gustafson who continued to coordinate the event for the last 20 years or so, thank you for keeping this wonderful tradition alive and for leaving big footprints for me to follow. Thanks also to Kathy Wolfe who was of great assistance to Jan (and to me) as we transitioned this event.
Each year we receive many cards and letters from area visitors and community members thanking us for providing this holiday meal. To all who had a role - big or small - thank you for being a friend, a good neighbor and a great volunteer to this community. Events such as this one would not be possible without your dedication, enthusiasm and good heart. All your efforts are truly appreciated, not only by the people who took part in the Thanksgiving dinner, but by our hospital system.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season and blessings in 2014.