Annual Dignity Christmas Party

Saturday, January 2, 2021
George’s Inc. managers, front row, from left: Robert Testerman, Claudia Bautista, Daphe Goade and Charles Agas. Back row: Lawson Bresette, Katelyn Huges, Jessica Hall and Kenneth Taft, prepare to distribute donations they purchased to three local families in need. Mike Gervais/

Locals step up to help families in need during Christmas

Community members gathered at Walk The Line Thrift Store in Monett Dec. 23 to spread some Christmas cheer and help families and individuals in need.

The Southwest Missouri Coalition of Charities and Resources of Southwest Missouri sponsored the event and Walk The Line hosted distribution of donations of clothes, toiletries, groceries, bedding and other necessities that came in from the community.

Walk The Line’s Kristek family, left to right: Corbin, Hannah, Julian and Phil, were among those distributing donations at the Thrift Store Dec. 23. Contributed photo

The group was able to supply Christmas boxes for 14 homeless people, 21 parents and 33 kids, as well as giving items for 70 foster children.

Among the donations were gifts and groceries for parents who were struggling to provide Christmas for their children this year.

“It was a windy, cold, wet day, but the generosity of our community kept us warm,” said Rachel Luebbering, resource coordinator for Southwest Missouri Coalition of Charities. “And because of that, Christmas was made possible for many of our less fortunate families.”

Becky from 3D Corporate Solutions in Monett dropped off six care bags in from her and her friend Cathy Hudson of Joplin, who was donating in memory of her daughter. Contributed photo

Resources of Southwest Missouri Executive Director Robyn Chrysler agreed.

“It’s really good to see the community show up for the less fortunate, especially this year when it’s been crazy hard,” she said.

For Walk the Line owner Phil Kristek, it was just another day helping people in need.

Robyn Chrysler, executive director of the Resources of Southwest Missouri and Rachel Luebbering, resource coordinator for the Southwest Missouri Coalition of Charities hosted the donation distribution at Walk The Line. Contributed photo

“We are always here for our community in this great time of need,” Kristek said. “Walk The Line was created for such a time as this. Some people fall through the cracks. We exist for them.”

In addition to the Southwest Coalition of Charities and Resources of Southwest Missouri, the management team of George’s, Inc. gathered at Walk The Line to make donations of their own.

George’s mangers reached out to local charity organizations this holiday season to see if they could identify people in the community that could use a little help this holiday season, and got a list 15 families.

From there, the drive was on. The managers secured enough donations to supply three families with clothes, jackets, food, toys and gift cards for the holidays. But that wasn’t all.

Manager Jessica Hall said she reached out to a number of other organizations and individuals in the community, including employees at the Monett Bus Barn, to see if they could solicit enough donations to take care of the 12 remaining families on the list.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Hall said. “Every year we want to do this.

“A total of $600 to $700 was raised, and more than 150 pounds of food was donated during the drive.”

“There’s no better way to engage with the community and with people than to give back,” said Lawson Bresette, George’s complex human resources manager. “This year, we sponsored three kids and their moms, but we want to expand our involvement in the community.”

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