Tis' the season for giving, and local businesses in Chelsea and Dexter are stepping up to help local families struggling to provide holiday cheer for loved ones this year.
Nancy Paul, director of the Faith in Action (FIA) food pantry serving both communities, said donations of food and non-perishable items have been pouring since mid-November.
"This is our absolute best and most fun time of the year," Paul said. "People are so generous with their donations."
Paul said local service clubs, businesses and organizations donate countless hours to help stock the pantry for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
"We couldn't do what we do without the help of so many individuals in Chelsea and Dexter," Paul said. "It just touches your heart to see the communities come together."
This week, Dayspring Gifts in Chelsea is conducting a five-day food drive for the pantry through Friday. Those who donate a food item will receive 10 percent off an item of their choice, up to five items per person.
“This is one way we can give back and we hope this makes it easier for others to participate as well this holiday season," owner Tom Ungrodt told the Jackson Citizen Patriot.
The branch on Baker Road in Dexter is also accepting donations for FIA through Dec. 30.
Paul said the pantry is in need of several items, especially laundry soap, paper products, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, diapers and Kleenex tissue.
"We're always looking for food donations as well," she said.
Businesses "adopt" local families
In addition to food pantry donations, Paul said businesses have "adopted" close to 160 families for the annual Adopt-a-Family program.
"Every year we get a good number of families who apply to receive Christmas gifts," Paul said. "A lot of the parents tell us that they don't need anything, but we make sure everyone who applies gets something.
"We tell parents that it's important to share a gift exchange with their children on Christmas morning. Christmas isn't just about luxury items. Even socks and underwear or pots and pans and basic necessities add up, so we're thankful we can meet those needs."
Paul said families go through an application process in early October and businesses sign up to purchase items on the family's wish list, delivering wrapped gifts to FIA in December for distribution.
"We do a good job to make sure all the families receive their gifts one way or another," Paul said.
For more information on FIA, or to make a donation, call 734-475-3305 or visit www.faithinaction1.org.