One of the core values that is so important to us as a family and as a small business is to give
back to our communities. It’s a family and company tradition to serve our local communities in
some way each year, especially during the holiday season.
In the Valley, our favorite non-profit is Harvest Compassion Center. They have multiple
locations, and are a resource for families and individuals in need of food, clothing, and hygiene
items. They endeavor to create an experience that gives guests dignity and choice by offering the
chance to “shop” for various items. During the holiday season, they also offer guests with
children the option to request toys.
Last week, our team had the chance to serve at their North Phoenix location. We split up into
different areas, with some helping guests shop for food, others helping guests shop for clothing,
and the rest of us putting toy bags together to fulfill the requests from the kiddos coming through on that particular day. In the last month, HCC has served over 1500 families. Interested in getting involved at one of their valley locations? Check it out here. If you’d like to donate, they
have an Amazon wish list on their site with most-needed items that will get shipped directly to
one of the centers.
In our Pine-Strawberry community, the Pine-Strawberry food bank works hard to meet the needs of community members all year round. During the holiday season, they strive to be able to
provide items so that visitors can cook their own traditional holiday meal. For Thanksgiving, we
were able to donate a dozen turkeys for the food bank, and now they’re in need of Christmas
hams! The deadline for dropping them off is December 17th .
You can drop off hams at the Ponderosa Market by the deadline, OR reach out to Pat at the
foodbank to coordinate if you’re dropping off more than 1. The hams can be bone-in, spiral, any
style. 8-14 pounds are ideal! Their number is 928-951-1061.
The Pine Strawberry Food Bank was founded by Sharon Balentine. Her husband was actually the
builder for The Strawberry Inn back in the 1970s for the couple who owned and designed it back
then. We have long roots together, and the organization is near and dear to our hearts! They do
SO much good for the community. When the Backbone fire threatened Pine and Strawberry and
forced evacuations, the food bank helped coordinate donations of food and funds for the
displaced families. We were so proud to be a part of the efforts, and humbled when our amazing
guests and friends on social media contributed heavily to the cause!
Last up, but far from least: we’re doing a toy drive in Strawberry for the Mountain Village
Foundation! Here’s how you can participate: bring a new toy with you to Strawberry when you
come for your reservation. You can just leave it for our team to pick up, OR drop it off at
Windmill Coffee. For more details on the toy drive, check out our Instagram post all about it.
For gift ideas for HCC and Mountain Village Foundation, tween and teen gifts tend to be the
most needed items. For teen girls, makeup, nail polish, journals, and gift cards ($10-$20 each, for
brick and mortar shops and restaurants) are huge hits. For teen boys, music related items,
cologne, drawstring bags, and sports balls are most requested.
Whether you choose to get involved with one of these organizations, or with another, I
encourage everyone to serve their local communities in some way! It makes a difference!