© 2023 by Operation Wildcat 

Project Thanksgiving

 

The purpose of Project Thanksgiving is provide all the items needed for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for our MASD families in need.
 

 

Project Coordinator:

Angie Stevens             717-873-1002    angelastevens9@yahoo.com
 

Operation Wildcat’s Project Thanksgiving – 2019

Project Thanksgiving was a huge success this year in terms of collecting supplies and donations, earning a grant, holding food drives and being blessed with many, many volunteers! We were able to meet the needs of 122 families, which came to 674 people in our school district with our Thanksgiving food baskets and other donations! It was a project that started out slow since this was my first year but became bigger and bigger as the months went by. In June, we started collecting boxes from local companies until we accrued the number of boxes needed for our Thanksgiving baskets. We would like to thank the Alpha Graphics staff with Celia as our main “go to person,” and Deb from the Copy Center at Elmwood Academy for always remembering Project Thanksgiving and giving a call whenever they had a stack of boxes.

Giant Food Stores graciously approved our grant request for $1,000.00 in gift cards so we could include a $10.00 gift card in each food basket to enable each family to purchase a holiday turkey to complete their meal. Operation Wildcat is extremely thankful for the depth of generosity to Giant Foods. We’d like to extend a personal thank you to Chris Brand, Ashley Mahaffey & Ashley Flower for being our contacts at Giant and always willing to answer our calls or emails. In addition to the gift card grant, Giant Foods also supplied 300 paper bags for our families to fill with any foods of their choice on distribution day.

Martin’s Pastry Shoppe was wonderful to us too! They approved our request of potato rolls and generosity provided 150 packs of rolls for us to add to our Thanksgiving baskets! We had the pleasure of communicating with their friendly and kind staff, Sue Heintzelman and Jon Gipe throughout this venture which we honestly couldn’t have done without them.

The Upper Allen Firehall is a team composed entirely of volunteer men and women that risk their lives to keep us safe in fire emergencies. They took the time to hold a food drive at our local Giant and Weis and as this being my first year as Chair, I was beyond surprised with the amount of food that was donated by them. They work hard each and every day and to take time out of their busy lives for our Mechanicsburg Area families is something that we will never forget. Also, a huge THANK YOU to both Giant and Weis for providing a space in their parking lots for the Fire Trucks and their crew. What an awesome Team! And what a wonderful community of people that donated to them!

Thank you to Jackie, an OW Volunteer, for taking the time and coordinating Pennies for Pies within the school district; with the money that was collected, we were able to order 225 pies so each family was able to have a pie or two depending on their family size to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day!

Two local businesses who were eager to help Project Thanksgiving collect food and hold food drives within their offices. CRABTREE, ROHRBAUGH & ASSOC. ARCHITECTS, ENVIRODYNE SYSTEMS INC. and DELTA DENTAL. The staff from both companies were amazing to work with and were a huge help when the donations of food needed to be picked up. Not only did Delta Dental do a food drive but they also gave their time by helping at our basket assembly night and helped pack up our baskets.

Not only did our local companies help us but our local Girl Scout Cadette Troop # 11588 did a fantastic food drive in Witney Ridge. They collected a large amount of food for our project and we can’t thank them enough for taking the time to help our families.

For Project Thanksgiving 2019 we added 2 items to our baskets this year:  toothbrushes and toothpaste. This was a huge success for us and what more can we say but THANK YOU to our local dentist offices for their support. The local dentist offices who were so gracious to donate them were: Dr. Glossner of Camp Hill; Dr. Fisher & Dr. Callery at Southpoint; Rother Dental located in Mechanicsburg; Alba Orthodontics in Mechanicsburg and McCracken Family Dentistry of Camp Hill. We were in need of around 800 toothbrushes and we successfully met that mark and were able to give each family member a new toothbrush and toothpaste.

Without individual volunteers, Project Thanksgiving would not be able to provide the baskets to district families. Thank you to Nadia, Patti, Jenn, Darlene, Shane, Haley & Kylie who came together on November 20th to sort food in preparation for basket assembly on the 22nd. Project Thanksgiving was blessed with MANY volunteers for basket assembly night on Friday, November 22nd. We wish we could thank them all individually: 30 plus children ranging from Elementary school to High School and over 25 adults which included community members, parents and OW members! A thank to those who donated snacks and water for our volunteers, Erin, MASH XC Boosters and Leslie.

Thank you to Stephanie Yerger & Raina Beckett for taking the time in their busy schedules to pick up the food from our school food drives. They were able to fill up their vehicles with a lot of food donations and take it to the Middle School for us. You ladies are awesome!!!

Thank you to the individuals who helped with food pick up from the Upper Allen Firehall: Shane & Kylie Stevens and Haley Weir. This was a huge job requiring stamina, energy and perseverance to pack a mountain of food and I mean a lot of food into a 14 ft trailer and also the back of a pick up truck provided by Shane & Angela Stevens. Thank you so much to these individuals! It could not have been done without each and every one of you!

An awesome group at the middle school helped immensely with the firehall food donation: Mindy Walter’s LIFE SKILLS class.  Without these great group of kids, our set up with all the extra food for our families would not have been possible.

Basket distribution night went very well, despite some last minute changes from past years. We had available for our families the prepared baskets, extra firehall food for the families to “grocery shop,” clothes and shoes for families to choose and turkeys thanks to the Upper Allen Fire Department. Thank you to all of those individuals and OW committee members who volunteered at this event. These volunteers helped with: checking families in, retrieving reserved baskets, helping pick out extra food or other items for their families, answering their questions, and finally staying afterwards to help clean up and close down.

Also, a HUGE thank you to Mireya Carlson for working so diligently on the TTSU sheets which without her we wouldn’t have had the amazing volunteers that we had.

Lastly but not least we need to thank the schools in our district. Project Thanksgiving wants to thank all those working within the district, either up front or behind the scenes to pull together all the loose ends of our project, including Paul Bigham, the school principals, Kim Kerchner, Meg Rieley, all the school counselors, teachers, administrative assistants, Sue Lawson (cafeteria), and the custodial staff for helping us when we needed supplies and to use their hallway for our completed baskets.

And saving the best for last, we send out a great big thank you to the parents and their children which completes the circle of our community. Without their food donations, gift card donations and turkey certificate donations, none of this would have been possible.

You are all truly amazing and I hope to see all of our wonderful volunteers for Project Thanksgiving 2020!

 

Your 2019 Project Thanksgiving Chairperson,

 

Angela Stevens