Living in the Kennett area, it is easy to take for granted the level of community giving that is continuously being expressed. In the same light, never does it multiply more than when a tragedy suddenly strikes. The night of the Victory Brewing fire is an example of the exceptional response of agiving community.
The local news and Facebook has multiple stories about people who immediately stepped out of their comfort zone to respond to the victims of the fire that evening and for days later. In fact, with so many spontaneous efforts springing forth, there now is an organized community drive led by Matt Fetick Team to help displaced families with gift cards and specific requested items.For more information: FireRelief@FetickTeam.com
Having been part of the Bridging the Community meetings since 1998, we call this act of giving a “miraculous mushrooming of care.” We all chuckle when we refer to this phrase because we instantly recognize that we are taking our lead from our little corner of the world---The Mushroom Capital of the World.
The phrase is a great metaphor because ithelps us realize that one small act of kindness has a ripple effect and can multiply just as abundantly as a flush of mushrooms, when the act comes from heartfelt caring.
The labor of love manifested in hand-knitted hats, scarves, gloves and sweaters mushroomed over the holidays.These were gifts for vulnerable children and adults, who will need to weather the cold winter temperatures. Senior citizen knitters, even in their time of isolation, were challenging each other to build the inventory to assure that the gift basket would be overflowing.
Recently a non-profit, AHHAH (Arts Holding Hands and Hearts) conducted Baskets of Love Fundraising Campaign virtually. With this, they included twelve other non-profits and each week promoted one of them for twelve weeks. The intent was to share the marketing and the profits. The motto was: “It takes a village to raise a child” one person, one organization cannot do it alone.”
This seems like a new edge that is being developed in fundraising. Instead of solely focusing on one’s own need for funds, the approach is one of joining other organizations who serve a similar mission and becoming a multiplier for all parties concerned.
Family Promise, a non-profit for homeless families, in Southern Chester County in a recent newsletter thanked the Southern Chester County Opportunity Network (SCCON) for holding bi-monthly meetings for local organizations. During these meetings, they discuss their challenges in serving those in need and identify the support that is needed.
Renna VanOot, the Executive Director of Family Promise reflects:“Each organization brings forth their gifts. When we share our gifts with one another, the gift becomes even greater.We need to continue these local organization meetings after the pandemic.”
Beyond the multiplication factor, giving begets giving, ending up making a greater impact. When a Kennett Square resident looks around and sees the outreach that is happening,, the natural question is “Where can I do my part?” With this, one might say that generosity has become part of the fabric of the town.
Recently, I have heard Kennett newcomers say, “I want to be part of thiscommunity, point the way to where I can volunteer.” I have heard others say, “I have lived in many towns, but this one is exceptional in how people care for each other.”So, the opportunity is there, step on the Kennett train and join the spirit of the “miraculous mushrooming of care.”