One thing the pandemic can't stop during this holiday season is the giving hearts of others. For the past couple of years, FOX17 Morning News has teamed up with Chef Jenna from Amore to surprise local families who need some extra joy during the holidays.
Chef Jenna reached out to me about doing it again this year, despite all she has been through this year trying to run her restaurant during the pandemic. Within days, and with the help of the community, Chef Jenna was able to pull off a very special Christmas surprise this year, a truckload of Christmas. A freezer full of food, a Bowflex, an air hockey table, gift cards, even a weekend trip and a promise of help from a mechanic when they need it.
The Hutchings kids lost their dad to cancer a few years ago. Their mom passed away earlier this year from her own battle with cancer.
Chef Jenna met their mom a few years ago when the family came to her restaurant, and they quickly became friends. Now, with the help of the community, she was able to surprise the kids this Christmas.
"I know people think about us and are there for us," said Makenzie Hutchings, the oldest of the siblings. "But physically seeing people come out, and especially during COVID when we can’t really see people, [...] this being brought to us means everything. I know that people I don't even know are thinking about me and care about me, and that means a lot."
A reminder of what not only this season is truly all about, but even more of a reminder of what truly matters.
"Just live life, the big thing that cancer taught both of them is have fun and do that thing and live it up," Makenzie said. "It's short and it won’t always be like this, life is always changing and love your people."