I’m still in a bit of shock. In a good way of course.
It all started when I checked in with a past recipient of our beef donations; I wanted to know whether she was ready for another beef box for the holidays. She replied, saying that she was very grateful to hear from me as she and her partner were struggling to feed their family this holiday season. Sending beef was a no-brainer, but I considered that, in addition to stocking her freezer with some nutrient dense ranch raised beef we could also provide her with some dry goods and non-perishable staples, as a bit of a surprise.
I shared all this out loud with Farm Club via the close friends list, thinking that a few people might want to join with us to bring some holiday cheer to this family.
But I was shocked to wake up the next morning to over $1,000 in donations! And it didn’t stop there. By the end of our campaign 48 hours later, donations were at almost $2,500.
Instead of helping just one family, we would be able to assist six Montana families, a community center on the Crow Reservation, and the Townsend food bank! In addition, Little Creek upped the ante and decided to donate an additional $500+ in beef and handle all the logistics and deliveries. Those 48 hours were a whirlwind, and I’m so grateful for everyone’s trust in me with processing these donations and am so appreciative of everyone’s generosity. (If you want to see the play by play, we saved a highlight called "Giving" on the @bigskycaroline Instagram page.)
Fast forward to this past Thursday: With donation money in hand, I set out to go grocery shopping for our families and organizations!
I can’t really explain it, but grocery shopping was So. Much. Fun! I’m kind of an organizational freak (have I mentioned I have multiple binders for all of our Farm Club members with all their preferences?) so I had a blast sorting each family’s items into the different carts. It took about five total carts and three or so trips to get everything purchased. Then it was back to the house to put together all the boxes and prepare for in-person delivery the next day and shipping on Monday.
First stop was a delivery to a local Townsend family. The mom had to take her children out of their home because they were not safe and leave everything else behind. In addition to her box of beef and food, we included a gift certificate to her local grocery store so her next batch of groceries is on us.
After that, it was time to pack boxes for the family that kicked this whole campaign off! We sent them 14 lbs of beef, 75 lbs of food staples, and a gift card to their local grocery store. They were very grateful for the help and said that these boxes were an answer to their prayers.
Next I headed to the Center Pole community center on the Crow Nation. When I asked them what they needed most, they said their need was “tremendous” across the board. We ended up dropping off over 500 lbs of groceries! The next day I dropped off over 300 lbs of groceries to our local Townsend food pantry. Being able to help both our local community and communities most in need across the state is very important to Little Creek, and through these generous donations we were able to do both.
On Monday I headed bright and early to cold storage to get ready to send out the last of the beef boxes to our families! One box with 10 lbs of beef and a grocery gift card went to a family with young kids with a parent who recently had to take a pay cut while facing some health challenges. Another box with 7 lbs of beef went out to a veteran family with an adult child that they care for in their home, while another box with 8 lbs of beef and a grocery gift card went to a pair of teachers who are working hard both at school and in their community, getting kids ready for their adult life. Our last beef box with 10 lbs of beef and a gift card went out to a nurse who has spent his career caring for children with disabilities who is also facing a recurrence of cancer. It's such a gift to be able to stock the freezers of such wonderful people.
Needless to say after all this, my heart is full to bursting. A huge thank you again to everyone who donated and helped us deliver so much holiday cheer to these deserving families and organizations.
And now it's time to spread the holiday cheer to your own communities. We are doing a giveaway!
Simply donate food or your time to help in the fight against food insecurity, share a post on Instagram about it, tag @littlecreekmontana and hashtag #littlecreekgives. That's it! You’ll be entered to win a beef box from us worth $500! Most importantly: It’s not about doing the most. It’s about a bunch of us working together to make a big impact.
The fine print: Deadline December 25, 2021. Must live in the contiguous US to receive a beef box. If you have a private Instagram account, please screenshot your post and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (otherwise I won’t be able to see it).