Avera McKennan's Thanksgiving Harvest of Hope project is in its 4th year now, partnering with the Salvation Army ,more than 300 families in the Sioux Falls area were able to enjoy a thanksgiving meal in their own homes on Thanksgiving Day with their dignity in tact.
Nancy Naeve Brown met a grateful family last year who was on the receiving end of this heart warming project.
Ann Burns and Jen Grossman at Avera McKennan are carrying out everything Avera stands for; a mission to make a positive impact in the lives and health of other people and in the community. Ann and Jen are delivering a Thanksgiving Harvest of Hope. It's a project Avera McKennan started 3 years ago with the Salvation Army. Departments within the hospital put together gift boxes with all the ingredients, plus extra staples, so families-in-need in the Sioux Falls area can make a Thanksgiving feast in their own home. Donna Taft is recovering from emergency knee surgery that couldn't wait until after the holiday.
Donna says, "I was worried how I was going to take care of other people."
Donna typically invites people from the Gospel Mission over to her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas and knew she couldn't do that this year. She was so surprised to learn someone added her name to the list of recipients for the Harvest of Hope.
Donna says, "Wow. I just had the warmth in my heart that there are other people out there that care to help others like I've been taught to do."
Jen Grossman heads up this project as the Volunteer Services Director at Avera McKennan. She says, "It's amazing. Especially because I was able to talk to Donna on the phone and get to know her and that she opened her home to us and hopefully helps her have a fabulous holiday. It's pretty exciting."
Ann and Jen really went the distance with their delivery by putting all the goodies away and the extra effort didn't go unnoticed.
Donna says, "I say you all are a bunch of wonderful people and caring. God blesses you all in every way for all the kindness and the caring. I can't say enough. I really can't."
She doesn't have to. The thankfulness is written all over her face.
For folks like Donna who can't get to the Salvation Army to pick up their boxes, employees at Avera McKennan volunteered to hand deliver them.