Wow, where do I start? What an amazing adventure! I am still on a high from the whole experience! I had planned on blogging every day when away, but this didn’t work out because I had far too much to do there. So, I’m going to try and give you a daily synopsis and hopefully get across the excitement, enthusiasm and magic I experienced during the four days I spent with a lot of really wonderful people.
Day 1: Food City in Kingsport, Tennessee
Following an early flight, I finally arrived in Kingsport, Tennessee. What an amazing sight to see when we pulled into the car park at their local Food City. All I could see was mountains of toys, our toys! This packing event has been a tradition in these parts for many years now and they knew exactly what they were doing. What wonderful people! To the “uneducated eye” it might appear chaotic but boy did they have a system going. We packed 5,000 gift bags for boys and girls in approx. 3 hours. I felt so proud to see all the wonderful toys that KWN donated being packed into these Santa Train Gift Bags.
People were constantly thanking me, as the KWN representative, and complimenting us on the size of our donation and the wonderful variety of quality toys this year. Jamie from Food City, who has been involved in this event for the past seven years, said that donations were so low this year that without our donation, they would have been in big trouble. Apart from packing toys, Food City also had volunteers packing their donated food items for the train. There were a lot of smiles and laughter and everywhere there was an overall “feel good” atmosphere. It was dark when we finally came up for air after the job was done. It was an amazing thing to see everyone come together for this wonderful holiday tradition with a common goal: to reach out to the less fortunate, in particular the children and families of the Appalachians, and make their holidays a little brighter.
Stay tuned for Day 2…