The holiday season is known as a time for giving, and one group on Delmarva is working to not only give food to the hungry, but also, to continue breathing life into a resurgent downtown area.
Monday afternoon, Cesar Gonzalez, pastor of Cambridge Seventh Day Adventist Church was making his rounds, dropping off food collection bins to businesses in downtown Cambridge.
Gonzalez admits, there would be easier ways to help those in need, but he says "that wouldn't bring the community together, and that's what we're trying to do...the church has always done a food drive, but it's always been tiny, you know, whatever people can bring here."
As a way to help the hungry in one of Maryland's poorest towns, Cesar Gonzalez came up with an idea that would not only bring in more donations, but also get more people into the shops in the up and coming downtown.
An idea Heidi Griebel from Sunnyside Shop is on board with.
"Any traffic driving mechanism is a good thing, so keep them out of the mall and coming into the small local shops," says Griebel.
Mari Stanley, Executive Director of Cambridge Main Street tells WMDT "every dollar that's spent in one of these stores...about 60 cents stays in the community."
While the initiative might help boost their sales, business owners agree, that isn't the main goal.
"Keeping it local, and you know, helping people in need in our own area is really important," says Heidi Griebel.
On top of helping the community with donations, and bringing people downtown, there's added incentive for those who pitch in: the chance to win an iPad 2.
Starting December 2nd, people can go to a number of shops in downtown Cambridge, and donate non-perishable food items. For every three items donated, their name goes into a raffle for the free iPad 2.
The winner will be announced in a December 21 drawing at 11 am at the Cambridge Adventist Church, 3105
Mallard Court Cambridge. The winner need not be present.
More information is available from the church at
www.cambridgesdachurch.org and 410.357.1463 and from Cambridge Main
Street at www.cambridgemainstreet.com and 443-477-0843.
Below are the participating businesses participating.
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