Almost every couple has their own holiday traditions.
Not all of them, however, are quite as in-line with the spirit of the season as Shawn and Amber Kisling’s.
“Around six years ago we started asking people we work with to throw blankets or coats they weren’t using anymore into a box,” said Shawn, earlier this week.
“My wife and I cleaned, folded and sorted them.”
Then, on Christmas Eve, they folded down the seats of their SUV, loaded up the boxes and drove around town handing items out to people in need.
“It took around three to four hours,” Shawn said.
Now they’re preparing for their sixth year of doing the same thing, prompting Kisling to ask the community if they have any blankets or jackets they’d like to donate, that they head down to the Mitsubishi dealership on Enterprise Way or Global Gym, where he has boxes set up.
“I would love to fill the back of a U-Haul,” he said.
“It gets really cold here and the biggest request I’ve always gotten is for socks, so I’m going to get a jumbo pack from Costco before I go.”
Kisling said that he and his wife both love their tradition because it feels right to give back to the community that they live in.
Shawn said his Christmas Eve giving spree is an extension of a lesson learned when he was a child, to never turn a cold shoulder to a person in need.
The value, he said, is immediately noticeable.
“If you take a minute to talk to these people, they’re so receptive and so thankful,” he said.