Community helps families

 Photo courtesy of Go Groveport!
 Groveport Madison Junior High students (left to right) Kayla Enochs, Lisa Lam, Elise Zimmerman, Olivia Burns, Mackenzie Coburn, Kasey Petty and Shelbie Prince are shown here at the toy table. They were among 23 straight "A" students who helped out with Groveport Madison Adopt-a-Family this year.

The sense of community is strong in Groveport as civic groups, the schools, businesses, and individuals all banded together and contributed to the Groveport Madison Adopt-a-Family program this Christmas.

Previously known as Birch Tavern Adopt-a-Family, which was founded and operated by the late Marty DuBoe-Muncy and her family, the program helps bring a happy Christmas to families who are in need in the Groveport Madison area. The effort this year was coordinated by Go Groveport, located at 607 Main St., at the request of Marty’s family.

"It is humbling to watch a community come together to give Christmas to those in our community who need a little extra help and to experience the distribution of items to the families in need," said Christine Boucher of Go Groveport. "The blessing for me was to meet so many wonderful people, givers and receivers, with whom I shared hugs and tears, for the givers who were grateful to give and the receivers who were very grateful to receive, the hugs were embraces of a community helping and supporting community."

According to representatives of Go Groveport:

•The program served 107 families including nearly 350 children who were provided Christmas through the generosity of the Groveport Madison community, including businesses, organizations, student groups, individuals and families.   


•Four families received additional assistance including furniture, beds, and referrals.

•More than $6,000 in financial donations were received, including two $1,000 donations – one from the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society and the other  from Midwest Right of Way – that helped to provide for families not adopted and fill in gaps where items were missing.  

•Fifty groups of "Angels" adopted families including the Groveport Madison High School National Honor Society who worked all year raising money to provide Christmas to 10 families with 60 children.

Some of the groups involved with Adopt-a-Family this year included:

•The Youth Group from St Mary’s Catholic Church along with some adult volunteers from Groveport Zion Lutheran Church, who baked and decorated nearly 400 sugar cookies so each family received a plate of cookies. They also made some "God’s Eye" ornaments.

•Shopping "Angels" able and willing to take a list and not only run with it, but also search for the best possible price to get more for the money donated.

•A collection of hats and gloves received from the local Realtor Association thanks to Go Groveport member Tammy Roof Elliott.

•Scarves hand knitted by Go Groveport member Nancy Stoltz.

•More than 50 Groveport Madison area groups participated in some form including, to name a few: Groveport United Methodist Church, Groveport Presbyterian Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Groveport Zion Lutheran Church, First Baptist Church, Asbury United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts, Groveport Madison High School 1979 alumni, Huntington Bank, and First Service Federal Credit Union.

•Numerous individuals who contributed both financially and physically.

"We could not have gotten all the work that needed to be done on Friday and Saturday without the 20 volunteer angels who came out to lend a hand with the distribution, nor the angels who helped with the extra shopping and scheduling of appointments," said Boucher.

Groveport Madison students pitch-in

Twenty-three straight "A" students from Groveport Madison Junior High School (GMJHS) volunteered Dec. 14-15 to help pack supplies and sort coats, hats, mittens, pajamas, underwear, socks, and toys for each family.

"The kids worked all day at Groveport Zion Lutheran Church," said Nancy Aiello of the GMJHS guidance office. "They’re wonderful, great kids. They liked helping out and said it felt good to help those in need."

Added Boucher, "The junior high students did an outstanding job. They were committed and dedicated and they have a good perspective on the meaning of community involvement."

The National Honor Society students at Groveport Madison High School (GMHS) were also deeply involved in the Adopt-a-Family efforts. According to Debbie Fannin of the GMHS guidance office, the group raised more than $5,000 in its own efforts to help families in need, including $1,050 collected by Tina Villanueva’s Spanish II classes at the school.

"I think they are phenomenal," said Fannin of the students.

Fannin stated the students raised the funds by selling candy canes, holding a fund raising competition at lunch periods between the classes (the seniors won), and collecting donations in classrooms and at basketball games.

Fannin said the student body was giving throughout the effort.

"Everybody got involved," said Fannin. "The kids enjoy helping out and it’s amazing the amount of hard work they do to help a good cause."

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