We are inspired everyday by the work of our community emergency assistance program, named Lake Township F.I.S.H. (Faithfully I Serve Him). This Holiday season, FISH is giving back in a number of ways to people in need in our community. You can give them a helping hand throughout the season by participating in the Affordable Christmas program, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives.
What is Affordable Christmas? As a Chamber of Commerce, we look at this program as a gift not only for those in need, but a gift back to our local community as well when gifts are purchased locally. Affordable Christmas is a local shopping event on December 13 for lower-income, working-class families to provide their children fun and exciting gifts during the holiday season. Families are invited through partnering community organizations such as Lake Local Schools, Lake Township FISH and Stark County Family Council to attend the event and purchase new, unused gifts at 1/10 the cost of their original price. All gifts are intended for children and teens ages 0-16 years old. Volunteer on Sunday December 13 from 3-6pm for this program, hosted at RiverTree Christian Church Lake Campus.
Local businesses are invited to place their own stock of toys and clothes at registers and encourage customers while they are checking out to purchase an extra item to donate to Affordable Christmas or host their own toy drive. For a list of items needed, click here. Hartville Collectibles‘ new Children’s Boutique (located on the second floor) is participating in this program as well and toy drop-off locations are Best Bib and Tucker and Peace, Love and Little Donuts of Hartville.
On Tuesday, November 24, a group of local churches led by Hartville Mennonite Church gathered together to provide all of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to Lake Township residents referred by Lake Township FISH, Lake Center Christian School, Lake Local Schools and Greentown Elementary. GentleBrook Event Center hosts the event and the children can make Thanksgiving cards while their parents select their ingredients. Donors that made this event possible are Hartville Kitchen, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Hartville Church of the Brethren, Advent Lutheran Church, Bethany Mennonite Church, Church Upon the Rock, Adventure Place, Rivertree Lake, Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Uniontown United Methodist Church, East Nimishillen Church of the Brethren, FISH, Solid Rock Church, St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, Hartville Mennonite Church, Pole Position Marketing, GentleBrook and New Life Episcopal Church.
Lake High School National Honor Society student Megan collaborated with FISH and local volunteers and employees from Pole Position Marketing and Best Bib and Tucker in our community to make 180 stockings that have been distributed throughout Lake Township shops to fill with donations. Twice is Nice and Best Bib and Tucker are collecting items until November 30. Those donations will stock the pantry shelves for the winter months when need is greater. On December 7, the giving continues as a “Breakfast Food Drive” at Lake High School fills the stockings with the makings of a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast!
Lastly, stop on out to Evening in the Village in Historic Downtown Hartville on Sunday, December 6 from 4:30-7:00pm for a Lake Township tradition! Tree lighting, visit with Santa, wagon rides, choirs, children’s activities, and downtown shops open! A collection site for Affordable Christmas and donations for Lake Township FISH will be available during the event.
Lake Township is known for its generous and giving nature. Thank you, especially during this Thanksgiving week, for making this a great community for all!