Amie Heidecke knows what it is to serve others.
For five years she served the nation in the United States Navy. Now, as a mother of two, she is serving the community and raising her children to help others.
For her son Logan’s recent first birthday, she asked friends to donate food which she gave to the food pantry at the First Presbyterian Church in Chester.
It couldn’t have come at a better time for those in need to have a bountiful Thanksgiving.
A family affair
Heidecke performed a similar act of charity when her daughter, Avery, now 8, celebrated her first birthday.
“We lived in a very small apartment and I didn’t have room for gifts,” Heidecke said. “So I thought that I could ask people to still bring toys to donate and we donated them to the Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital in Westchester. I wanted to do something again for my son Logan’s first birthday and because it’s right before Thanksgiving, I thought a food drive would be a good idea.
“We had a great turnout; actually a lot more than I expected,” Heidecke added. “I drove it over in my dad’s truck and my mom and Avery helped.
“I reached out to (the First Presbyterian’s Elder) Okey Barrett through the email address on the church’s Facebook website. We communicated through email and I let him know I was interested in doing this and asked if they would be interested in whatever we collected.”
The answer was a resounding yes.
Elders Okey and Jean Barrett as well as volunteer Joan Maxwell were there when Heidecke arrived to drop off the donation boxes of food on Sunday, Nov. 14.
“We had a lot of stuff; we filled whole the whole back of my dad’s pickup,” Heidecke said. “They were very happy and grateful for all the stuff.”
Okey and Jean Barrett “were really surprised at the amount of food this little one-year-old received for his birthday.”
“It was unbelievable,” volunteer Joan Maxwell said. “Amie came in with her mom Linda, daughter Avery and one-year-old son Logan. Amie told her neighbors, friends and relatives not to buy presents (for Logan’s birthday), but to bring food for the food pantry.
“Obviously we were so happy and very pleased, especially this time of year, because there was an assortment of items. And Amie and her daughter and her mom are going to start volunteering at the pantry. We’re always looking for volunteers.”
“I believe generosity starts with the parents,” Heidecke said. “And I want my kids to understand they can be grateful for what they have and there are people who need help and we should help out if we can.
“I see what a big heart my daughter has and want to do the same for my son,” she added. “It’s been a difficult year for some people. And we’re very blessed and if we’re in a position to give back, I want to do that.”
The First Presbyterian Church of Chester is at 94-96 Main St. For information or to volunteer, call 845-469-4877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.