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Altar’d State’s Mission Monday to benefit Food Pantry backpack program

By Cindy Jo Ayers
Back in September of this year Angie McKenzie of Trenton was shopping in the Altar’d State store in the Oaks Mall when she noticed a drawing entry form at the check out counter. McKenzie quickly filled out the form and dropped it into the jar. Several weeks later she received a call from Tori Sausse, the store manager, at Altar’d State explaining that she had won the drawing. At first McKenzie thought she had won a gift certificate, but it turned out McKenzie won the Mission Monday drawing which allows her to pick the charity of her choice to benefit from Mission Monday. The charity she named had to help feed the hungry. Altar’d State stores throughout the country give 10% of the store’s Monday proceeds in October, November and December to a local charity that gives food to the hungry in that area or community.
McKenzie said, “I was so excited to learn that by winning the drawing I could help children by designating the funds go to the back pack program of the local Food Pantry.” She went on to say that Bethel Baptist Church was already involved with the backpack program as one of their church ministries. McKenzie and her husband Gary are longtime members of Bethel Baptist Church located on County Road 334A, near Trenton.
Since McKenzie is a Gilchrist County native, she wanted the proceeds to help people in her local community so she picked the Food Pantry of Gilchrist County, which is based behind the City Hall in Trenton. This charity gives away food to those in need throughout Gilchrist County every Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They head up the backpack program that sends a bag of food home with Gilchrist County school children in need every Friday.
During her conversations with the store manager about Mission Monday the store manager invited Bethel’s Church Choir to perform in front of the store on Saturday, December 15. Bethel’s adult choir plan to sing Christmas songs at 11 a.m. When the beautiful window dressings are taken down after the New Year, almost all the items in the window including wreaths, Christmas trees and the backdrop will be donated to Bethel Baptist Church. McKenzie said that the Christmas decorations will be enjoyed by their church family for years to come. McKenzie went on to say winning the drawing has been such a blessing to her church family, local children in need and to herself. She said, “It was the best Christmas gift ever, for us all.”
Altar’d State is a Christian based business which has a prayer request section on their website as well as this quote, “Life if fragile, handle with prayer.” The company gives a 15% discount to all members of the Military and their families. This company with philanthropic core values began in 2009 in Knoxville, Tennessee with one store. They have 104 stores today with several in Florida, one is in Town Center in Jacksonville and one in the Oaks Mall in Gainesville as well as three others. A few years ago they moved their headquarters from Knoxville to Maryville, Tennessee. Their company also looks for venders that share their company’s philosophy of giving back to those in need. Through the Mission Monday program and other efforts to give back to the communities where their stores are located they have given back well over 2.5 million dollars to charity.
Altar’d State stores sell everything from fashion clothing for women, home decor with a Christian theme, cell phone accessories, jewelry, shoes and Bibles.
When you arrive at the store you will notice that the Christmas tree farm window display is named “McKenzie’s Christmas Tree Farm, giving warmth to the food pantry.” The window display was designed to honor their winner, Angie McKenzie and her family. Under the wooden sign you will notice gift tags hanging with the names of the McKenzie grandchildren.
Angie McKenzie invites everyone to consider shopping at Altar’d State this Christmas season because 10% of all Monday’s proceeds will go to the Food Pantry of Gilchrist County’s backpack program.
Its easy to find the store in the Oaks mall if you go though the old Dilliards store in the Oaks Mall and turn left when you reach the mall, it’s the second store on the left.
If you can’t make a trip to the mall and visit the beautiful Altar’d State store on a Monday in December you can always make a donation to the Food Pantry. Just send a check to Food Pantry of Gilchrist County, P.O. Box 736, Trenton, FL 32693.

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