The Christmas Spirit Lives All Year Long for PLR Listeners

The last time you crossed the sweltering blacktop of a grocery store parking lot in midsummer did you think of Christmas? Not likely, unless you were participating in Positive Life Radio's 11th annual Christmas-in-July event.

On July 30, the Christmas spirit was felt in front of several grocery stores and other locations throughout the Inland Northwest as listeners donated over 20,000 pounds of food and hundreds of dollars to local food banks. Radio staff and volunteers set up drop points to collect food and visit with listeners.

"We had a great time baking in the sun! We received 1,181 pounds of food and $115 in cash. Our food bank director was smiling from ear to ear," says Michael Dauncey, a pastor from Idaho who volunteered at the Coeur d'Alene drop point.

"It was uncomfortable in the heat, but I count the experience a blessing. It kinda restores my faith in humanity," says Julia Marcyes, a Positive Life Radio listener, who helped at a Spokane drop point.

Humanity does have a heart for those in need, and the things people do to receive the blessing of giving is about as varied as the people themselves.

Matthew, who was listening on his way home from backpacking and hearing about the event, decided to give the food he had not used on his trip.

Fran drove to the wrong location but sat in her car until she heard the right location, then drove like crazy to get across town before the volunteers went home.

The Hardesty and Clark families went door to door with a car load of kids. They collected 146 pounds. Another group was holding a VBS and got all the children involved for a total of 352 pounds.

Some get such a blessing from Christmas-in-July they plan for it all year long. Jim puts aside a can or two in his garage each time he gets home from shopping. When July rolls around, he makes his haul. This year's was 187 pounds.

Even Erin, who raids her pantry each year, didn't want to miss giving, so despite the fact her house burned down and she didn't have canned goods, she brought a cash donation.

Whether it's parents, singles, all-year planners, or spur-of-the-moment givers, the Christmas spirit lives in July and all year long.

Featured in: October 2009