Those looking for a way to donate to the less fortunate this Christmas need go no further than the local Hardees.
Hardee’s Breakfast Manager Jimmie Burkhart has been with the company for eight years, and spends a lot of her time collecting and distributing food and other items to those who need them. This year she has decided to do what she can to aid Christ’s Hands, a charitable organization most in Harlan are familiar with.
“It’s something I do every year,” said Burkhart. “Last year I did The Laurels and the nursing home.”
This year, she is taking donations of blankets, food and toys at the Hardee’s location. Customers who are so inclined may pick a child’s name off the Christmas tree — which features hand-painted ornaments by local artist Bob Howard — and purchase a gift for that child.
According to Burkhart, she has been doing this sort of thing for several years.
“This is the first time I’ve done Christ’s Hands,” Burkhart said. “Customers come in and they get the names off the tree and they bring the gifts back to me and I wrap and deliver them.”
Burkhart said the community always comes through with a large amount of donations, and this year should be no exception.
“We think Jimmie exemplifies our company’s values,” said Earnie Rivers, who works with Burkhart.
According to a press release, Hardee’s is operated by Boddie-Noell Enterprises, and lists company values to include respect, honesty, trust, excellence, teamwork and diversity.
Burkhart explained there is a box set up at Hardee’s for blanket donations to go to the homeless.
“I understand there are a lot of people out of work, and we are trying to help,” Burkhart said. “There are a lot of homeless people right here at home. I appreciate everyone that has donated for this cause, and all the customers that have bought gifts for the names on our tree. May God bless you all.”
She said all the kids whose names were placed on the tree will have a good Christmas this year because of the generosity of the people who took a name and purchased gifts for the children.
Burkhart explained she does this for personal reasons.
“I love giving back to the community,” Burkhart said. “There are a lot of kids out there who don’t have anything and I feel like they need something.”
Burkhart had one more thing to add before returning to work.
“All of us here at Hardee’s and Boddie-Noell wish you all a Merry Christmas,” said Burkhart.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde