Falling in Love with Our Community

Tarah Bourke - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I initially fell in love with Holland 3.5 years ago on the shores of Lake Michigan but I never expected to stay. Now, 3.5 years later, I am falling in love all over again and in a completely different way. 

I fell in love with the Holland community on a brisk October Friday when two teenage boys and a parent volunteer showed up with a truck load of donations. They were from Cityside Middle School in Zeeland. During their Spirit Week they hosted a food drive for Kids’ Food Basket and brought in over 720 pounds of food.These kids had rallied together, inspired their friends, and found a way to bring in our largest donation to date. It wasn’t just the amount of food or the way each item would delight and nourish the children who receive our Sack Suppers, it was the pride on the faces of those two teenage boys. 

I fell in love with the Holland community when two employees from Resthaven Maplewoods care facility arrived unexpectedly on a chilly Wednesday in February with 500 decorated bags. They told me of one of their residents, Herb, who had tears in his eyes after hearing our book, "Tony and Julia" read aloud. This World War II veteran takes extra care to write encouraging statements on the bags. My personal favorite is when he writes, “You could be president someday.” 

I fell in love with the Holland community on a balmy Friday afternoon in February when a woman from a local corporation showed up at our door. She saw a Saturday afternoon Facebook post where we mentioned that peanut butter was one of our biggest needs. She got a group of women in her office together and responded to our need with almost 300 pounds of peanut butter. 

I fall in love with the Holland community every day as volunteers and donations come through the door. We have never had to go without or struggle to serve the nearly 600 children their Sack Suppers because someone always shows up to help us make this happen. 

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