As we are still basking in the light of gratitude from our time of Thanksgiving with friends and family, we want to share some opportunities to spread some JOY as we continue into this holiday season.

Tomorrow, December 3, is Giving Tuesday. This day which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has become a “Global Generosity Movement” where people across the world are helping others through the gift of their time, donations, goods, or voice. A few of the ways we are supporting the movement this year are: Round Up at the Register for Manna, the Giving Trees, the Community Winter Wear Bank, and the Women’s Resource Center’s Safe Home Food and Household Donation Cart. Each of these opportunities to give begins and ends with your generosity.

This is the perfect time of year to remind you about the option in the stores to Round Up your purchase to the nearest dollar for the Manna Food Project. We don’t always ask you if you would like to participate in this program, but we want to remind you that all you have to do is tell us you'd like to participate and we will make sure those cents are donated. They really do add up and we are honored to support this organization: “Manna Food Project (Manna), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, helps feed the hungry in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet Counties. Over 250 committed volunteers, partnering with a staff of eight, work together to achieve our mission. Manna is a partner organization of the national Feeding America Food Bank Network. Manna operates a food bank (distribution center), a food rescue program, a weekly food pantry, and the “Food 4 Kids” backpack program.”

An annual tradition at the Grain Train is the Giving Tree. The Women's Resource Center and other community resources provide us with a local family's wish list and we, along with your help, make sure it gets fulfilled. We are very excited to be adding Giving Trees at our Boyne City store and also at the Cafe this year. Next time you are in, just select a tag from one of our Giving Trees and bring back each gift wrapped and with the tag attached to whichever location the tag was picked up from (Petoskey store, Boyne City store, or Cafe). At the Petoskey store and the Cafe, gifts are due back by December 12. In Boyne City, presents are due December 16.

You might remember the Coat Tree that was on the corner of Petoskey and Michigan Streets last year? It was a community project where coats, hats, gloves, and all sorts of winter wear were dropped off for anyone who needed them. It was a great idea that had one drawback, the clothing froze out in the elements. In 2018, a Public Safety officer asked us if we would house the project and we thought the back porch of the Cafe was just the spot. The Winter Wear Bank is up and running again this season. This is still a community project and we are asking for your help in keeping the rack and bins full, neat, and orderly. If the area is full, kindly donate elsewhere.

One last way to give that we want to touch on today is the shopping cart in the entryway of our Petoskey location. All of the donations that go inside the cart are collected for the Women’s Resource Center’s Safe Home. Purchasing one item to donate per shopping trip can really go a long way to making sure that the Safe Home is fully stocked and ready for those in need. Should you wonder what items they are accepting, here is their needs list.

So, in the spirit of giving, we hope you will participate in these opportunities as you are able. We love Giving Tuesday but let’s keep that caring for our community alive and well all year long.

As for what is happening at the stores and Cafe this week, we are gearing up for the rest of the holiday season! More details of that to come. We are excited to extend the Cafe’s hours this Friday, December 6, for the Downtown Petoskey Open House. We hope that you will come in, warm up and enjoy what we have to share with you this festive evening! See you there!

December 02, 2019 by Mindy Taylor
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