The Manna House is a popular Midlothian non-profit organization, led by Sissy Franklin. With her straight silver hair and clear, piercing eyes, you get the sense that she’s a woman who can get things done. And she has. She has been involved with Manna House for the last 27 years. Starting out as a volunteer for 10, then taking over as Executive Director for the last 17.
“I had been volunteering for about 3 years [at Manna House], when I had to have brain surgery. During that recovery, we came to the point we couldn’t pay our electric bill. My husband and I were both working, but it didn’t take long for the money to dry up, so I had to go to Manna House to ask them to help me with my electric bill.
“I got to the door, put my hand on the knob and stopped. I thought ‘I cant go in there. I’m a failure.’ But I went in, and they told me they could help me with the bill. And I will never forget the feeling of the weight of the world leaving me, because my kids would have electricity to live and eat, and to do homework. I told my husband that day when we left ‘I donno how, but I will give back one day. I will give back.’ Which is when I started volunteering more and becoming more involved,” said Sissy.
Thanks to our generous community and with Sissy’s direction, Manna House and Heaven’s Attic/Manna House Resale have grown significantly over the last 17 years. Last year Manna House was able to feed over 16,000 people in our community, and help approximately 400 families with their utility bills.
One of their programs that is important this time of year is the Christmas Angel Tree Program. This program identifies children that might not be able to experience Christmas without the help of the community. Each child is given 8 gifts or “angels” which are adopted by our community and given to Manna House for distribution to the children. Each child receives a coat, an outfit, pair of pajamas, socks/underwear, shoes and 3 toys.
Manna house was able to provide 4,000 angels last Christmas. Hopefully with the Chamber Ambassador’s involvement this year, we can help even more families!
The Midlothian Chamber’s Ambassador Program launched the first-ever Spirit Raffle, with the goal of encouraging residents to shop locally and supporting Manna House’s Christmas Angel Tree Program.
Local businesses in Midlothian are putting together holiday wreaths, table-top trees, and full-size trees to display in their stores during the month of November. Shoppers will purchase raffle tickets in the stores for $5 each to enter to win their favorite displays.
“The Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to be a catalyst for local economy and provide resources for local businesses and the community. The Christmas Spirit Raffle will do both,” said Amy Tounget with Amy Tounget Insurance Company. Ms. Tounget has been a leader for this effort as a committed member of the Chamber Ambassadors program.
With just two days left in the raffle, we encourage you, your businesses and families to shop local and support Manna House.
“There’s not too many weeks when somebody doesn’t move us to tears.” said Sissy, “We love this community. We want to be involved in it and make a difference in people’s lives.”