PANORA, Iowa — Christmas is the season of giving. For a Panora-based non-profit organization, its mission is to give families the gift of Christmas.
Kellie Flanery is the founder and president of A Giving Christmas Inc. She started in 2013 in Perry and has expanded to the Panorama school district and Guthrie Center.
It recently received a grant through the county to make this happen.
The non-profit’s goal is to someday go county-wide to other communities in Guthrie County.
When she first started, Flanery and her family wanted to help families in need during this time of year.
“I wanted to teach them the gift of giving,” Flanery said. “We decided that we would use their Christmas money to adopt another family.”
Nine years later it has made a real impact. As a hairstylist, she hears stories from all walks of life.
“We hear stories of somebody losing a job. We help a lot of grandparents who are raising their grandkids and we help a lot of service workers,” Flanery said, “We help a lot of people working in our nursing homes and taking care of our elderly.”
She said people don’t expect this gracious surprise.
“We’re trying to be a surprise for them, where they don’t normally expect this to be happening,” the founder said. “So it’s pretty neat when we call them and let them know.”
She isn’t doing this alone, a few members of the organization are also making a difference.
They have the fun job of purchasing and delivering the gifts.
“It’s very rewarding,” Ammy Webster said. “When you get the list sometimes the list has things like coats or boots, it’s very touching and it makes it feel like we’re serving a purpose.”
In years past, A Giving Christmas has also provided a Christmas meal and gifts. The organization is also working on additional projects to help families and the elderly with their electric bills.
If you would like to help A Giving Christmas, you can go to the non-profit’s Facebook page or this website. You can also Venmo @givinginc.