by Dennis Dalman
For the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Celebration Lutheran Church in Sartell plans to give meal kits and other forms of helpful kits to people in need.
Organizers of the relief program are requesting people donate items for the kits, which include meal kits, household cleaning kits, hygiene kits and baby-care kits.
“We are always looking for ways to share this outreach with the greater community so more families in need can receive our help, as well as reaching people who are willing and able to donate,” said Jessica Lundsetter, church member and one of the founders and volunteers for the Celebration Lutheran Church Free Community Store. The store opened several months ago to help people adversely affected by the virus pandemic.
Those who need one or more of the kits should reach out for help. There are no qualifications and no questions asked to receive the kits. Those who need a kit or people who know of a family who might need one should contact Lundsetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who are able to donate kits, they can be dropped off, ready-made, at Celebration Lutheran Church during office hours, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays. Check donations can be brought to or sent to Celebration Lutheran Church, with “Free Store” written on the check’s memo line. Send to the church at 1500 Pinecone Road, Sartell, MN 56377.
Lundsetter said the goal is to have ready 25 Thanksgiving kits by Nov. 11 to be distributed to families in need on Thanksgiving week.
To find out what to include in donated kits, go to the following church website: www.celebrationlutheranchurch.com. Scroll down to CLC Free Community Store and, to the right, click for “full kit shopping list.” The types of kits are Breakfast Kit for Kindness, Lunch Kit for Love, Suppertime Kit for Sharing, Snack Kit for Smiles, Pods for God Cleaning Kit, Personal Care Kit for Comfort, Baby-Care Kit for Joy, and Gift Cards.
The following items comprise one Thanksgiving dinner kit:
Two frozen turkeys or one fully-cooked turkey breast, one packet of gravy, two cans of corn, two cans of green beans, one bag of marshmallows, a bag of brown sugar, one box of instant stuffing mix, can or carton of chicken broth, one can of dinner rolls or one box of corn-bread mix, one non-perishable dessert (such as pumpkin-pie filling, a pie crust, brownie mix, cookie mix, cake mix or other), one can of cranberry sauce, one beverage not requiring refrigeration.
Other options for giving are holiday plates and napkins, foil baking pans, and personal cards or notes.
The Free Store’s inspiration comes from The Bible, Matthew 23:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”