2015 Boyne City Kiwanis Eddie Essay: “Community Christmas” by Quentin Nottage

Quentin Nottage

“Community Christmas” by Quentin Nottage

Quentin Nottage
Quentin Nottage

It doesn’t take much to change a life, and what better time to do it on Christmas.

It may not seem likely that you can, but one person can change many lives, and with such a short time on this Earth, what else we can do but help people.

We all depend on each other.

Even if you are unsure about helping others, if you try it, the smiles and thanks you get are enough to drive you.

Helping people on Christmas is a great gateway to becoming an amazing human, and isn’t that what we want?

You shouldn’t use the time of the year as an excuse to be helpful, but help all year round.


The Boyne Area Community Christmas is an amazing way to start changing lives.

This organization, founded in 1954 by the wonderful-hearted nurse, Thelma Behling, is so wonderful.

I’ve only experienced one year of this splendid charity, but the overwhelming enthusiasm and smiles and donations was enough to make me smile from ear to ear.

Even people I’d never thought I’d see help so much were laughing and happily packing boxes.

On the 61st year of the Community Christmas, it won’t be any less helpful than the last 60.

Donations are accepted of foods, cans, and other non-perishable products that can last, and even toys and presents for the families that can’t afford either for Christmas.

They are packed in boxes, specifically designed for the number of people in each family, and either picked up by the families or driven out to the families who cannot reach them. A noble cause run by noble people.

I specifically relate to this charity because in the Fall of 2012, I was unfortunate enough to have missed a Christmas.

I know it isn’t that important, I mean, one Christmas incomplete out of many to come.

But my situation didn’t help to make me any happier. I was in seventh grade at Petoskey, my first year there.

I would later come back for eighth grade when we got our feet back on the ground, but until then I had gone to Petoskey for three months and I had awkwardly made a few friends in my normal fashion.

I wasn’t comfortable, I was alone.

Of course there were people to talk to and laugh with, but it didn’t feel full.

Then the power went out, bills caught up, work was too far away to make a profit, and it was ten days before Christmas.

We sat in our dark apartment, my mother, step father, a one, two, and a three year old, and me eating a small rotisserie chicken, some potatoes, and bread rolls. We had no furniture, no heat, and no water.

It was hell.

Eventually we found a motel called The Lodge.

It was relatively cheap and we got a discount from pity, which was a huge blow to my parents.

They both have so much pride and they had to be spared to survive.

I couldn’t go to school either.

It would’ve been a 40 dollar round trip so it would have actually just cost money to take me to school, so I didn’t go.

We had five people with two beds and a very small bed in the other room.

I got a bed to myself and I laid there until days melted away.

All of that fall is an absolute blur, but I do remember some moments well.

Especially Christmas day, the night before my mom was able to get enough extra money to get a small board game and one present for each of the small kids.

I remember waiting in anticipation all day Christmas just in case my mom got me something.

I hated it.

To think, looking back, that some families feel this every year, every day.

I hate that thought, no presents and no splendid, special meals.

Parents feeding their children subpar meals, not getting to tell their children the night before about Santa because they couldn’t afford anything and having the children’s friends smiling about their new toys, it will harm their egos forever.

Leaving them thinking they aren’t as important as others.

That’s why I feel so strongly about all families getting Christmas, and the Community Christmas is an easy way to help.

You could donate presents at any time before the 17th, except for emergencies.

This glorious organization helps over 250 families yearly, and as previously stated, packages are driven out on occasion.

A huge chunk of the Freshman had the pleasure to help box food packages and haul toys in at last year’s Community Christmas, me being one of them.

It was extraordinary.

So many smiling faces, all with amazing purpose behind them.

A truly amazing cause.

With some extra spending money, they could perhaps get the boost to rent out a better facility, drive out farther, get better advertisements, and so much more.

Christmas is the time of giving, so if I could let people give more, than I’d be honored to be able to donate to them.