Hope for the Holidays
Community Thanksgiving Dinner:
For many years, Fair Haven Concerned has teamed up with the Fair Haven Eagles and the Auxiliary to host a dinner for everyone in the community. The first year the Eagles prepared the meal and only a small group attended. So the second year we gathered all kinds of community groups together to promote and expand the meal. Castleton and Fair Haven Legion, the Fair Haven Graded School, Rotary, all of the churches in Fair Haven, and many businesses and individuals worked together to serve or deliver nearly 300 meals. While the number of meals goes up and down the spirit is wonderful. We encourage everyone to get together, and many of the clergy serve as hosts to welcome and visit with folks. Families, individuals, elders, children, youth, all get together for a community meal. Would you like to help? Come and bring a friend who would enjoy a meal together and help build the community! and If you would bake a pie or pies for the meal. Two steps:
To make a reservation for meals (very important) please call 265-7966 after 10 AM any day through Wednesday, November 24th.
To let us know that you will bring a pie or more, please call Julie Austin at 265-3666
Toys for Joy:
The Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church in Fair Haven have collected new and good used toys within our community for more than 20 years. They repair the older ones and just before Christmas invite folks who need a gift for their child(ren) to come and pick one. These gifts are supplemented by gifts from the Giving Tree.
Christmas Giving Tree:
For many years, community members have been cutting up...Cutting up the artwork from Christmas cards to make tags for the next year's giving tree. The Fair Haven Shaw's has been our host. Around Thanksgiving we set up a tree in Shaw's lobby with tags giving the age and sex of a child or adult and their particular need. Anyone who wants to make someone else's Christmas bright takes a tag, purchases the gift and attaches the tag so we know what it is. Many givers also wrap their gift.
The staff at the Fair Haven branch of Chittenden Trust gather the gifts each day and wrap any ones needing some covering. Then we bring them to Toys for Joy or to a family in need of a boost.
In the last few years several families have invited their children to contribute half or more of their Christmas gift money to purchase gifts for others. These children have picked out the best gift they would like to receive and given it to someone else. It has created a wonderful joy in their families and in the homes where a very special gift is received!
Each Department at the Rutland Regional Medical Center gathers food and gifts for a handful of families in the Rutland Region. The hospital provides a bounty of presents for several families in our area.
Christmas Food Baskets:
Every holiday families worry. How will we heat our house, clothe our children and eat? Knowing that they will have a bountiful Christmas dinner with food leftover, gives hope and joy and peace to more than 400 people in about 150 families in Fair Haven, West Haven, and Benson. To provide the baskets we solicit several thousand dollars of support from individual and business contributions, and churches! Then a team of people shop for the best buys, assemble boxes, send out notices, and for shut in neighbors delivers the packages of nutritious joy! Jan Morren gets her wagon ready for another feast!
Dave Mallory prepares another wagon-load!
Tons of Turkeys await their homes!
The entire gym was filled with clothes and gifts for Giving Tree applicants
and box after box of food!
Food: Food Shelf: Every weekday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 the Fair Haven Food Shelf at St. Mary's School opens its doors to help our hungry neighbors. Maybe it's the loss of a job , a sudden illness, or just not enough income to make ends meet, but when there is no food and no money, we reach out a helping hand. For many years Camilla Partch headed our food shelf and now Amy Pregger is our leader. A different person operates the shelf one morning a week.