"Thank you, thank you so much," said Chrissy Lacy, a resident of Martha's Home, as she embraced Laurie Minton with tears in her eyes. Minton responded by telling her that she and her coworkers at Pantex would be continuing to donate to Martha's Home as she wiped tears from her eyes, too.
Laurie Minton was able to donate and deliver 67 new pots and pans to Martha's Home this afternoon. The stack covered the porch and smiling women greeted the Pantex workers who had collectively used their grocery purchases to receive and donate the cookware.
The project began when Laurie Minton decided that she would use the stickers she was given by United Supermarkets for free pots and pans with her grocery purchases. With every grocery purchase up to a certain amount, shoppers were given stickers, and once that shopper had collected enough, they could redeem their stickers for countertop cookware. Minton and her husband decided that they had no use for the extra pots and pans, but that someone probably did. So, using social media, they spread the word to coworkers that they would be collecting the stickers in hopes of donating the cookware later on.
"Those stickers came from people up at Pantex, their friends, their family and in the last two week of the promotion, people started requesting it on Facebook. So we had people coming in from Canyon, and Borger, and Panhandle, and all the area towns and people we didn??t even know who wanted to give stickers to benefit Martha??s home,?? said Minton.
It took over $94,000 worth of groceries to collect enough stamps for the delivery and the retail value equaled well over six thousand dollars. Residents of Martha??s Home said that the donation was hugely appreciated, not just because of the necessity of cookware in a house where each woman takes turns cooking dinners for the others, but that women who left the house to live on their own were able to take some of the new cookware with them.
??We get pots and pans and we get donations and they??re all hand me downs. So, when we leave, we still get that stuff, which we??re thankful for, but having them brand new, I mean, that??s just awesome. It??s phenomenal,?? said Lacy.
Executive Director of Martha??s Home, Connie Garcia, explained that the home is always at capacity, housing 10 single women in the large home, and 3 families in the smaller house at the moment. She said the donation was a ??real blessing?? and that, when hearing about the kindness of the strangers who had put the project together, many of the women had teared up.
??When they??re in this situation, they??ve lost all hope. So just to know that the community is thinking about them, it really does mean everything,?? said Garcia.
"When she showed me the Facebook page...all these pots and pans... I teared up. Because I couldn't believe that somebody would do that for us. It's an amazing thing, ever day, that people go out of their way to do that stuff for us," said Nita Cagln, a resident of Martha's Home.
Minton expalined that she had seen hard times in her youth and her family had been through periods where they had relied on the genorosity and help of others; this was her way of paying it forward. She hopes that once the women graduate the Martha's Home program and are able to live on their own again, they, too, will find ways of sharing their gratitude by giving in the future.