60 years of giving: KACS kicks off holiday campaign

Support needed for local 2014 holiday food, coat & toy campaign 

By Kim Chiomento, Staff Writer, The Times


The KACS 2014 Toys for Tots Co-Chairs: Mike & Debbi Sears with their children Ben & Maddi.

KENNETT — This year, Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) proudly celebrates its 60th anniversary of helping the lesser fortunate within our communities.  Founded in 1954 by the simple, kind gesture of providing two struggling Kennett Square families with Christmas dinner; to its current-day, large scale service mission of providing 625 food baskets, toys and warm coats for families in the Kennett, Unionville Chadds Ford and Avon Grove Communities;  KACS remains an important pillar for those in need to lean on.  KACS is now calling upon individuals and businesses to please generously support their efforts again this season.

KACS manages the well-known, and highly relied upon, Kennett Food Cupboard (KFC) and annual Toys of Tots and holiday food baskets campaign.   Kennett area residents and parents, Debbi and Mike Sears, have stepped-up to Co-Chair this years’ Toy Drive following George Plumley’s many years of dedicated service as its Chairperson.

Debbi explains, “I first became involved with KACS about six years ago, through my employer, Exelon.  My department held a team building exercise to assist the KFC with their holiday food gift basket drive…we were involved with everything from collecting food, organizing, packaging and delivering the actual gift baskets.  I was so moved by this wonderful event that I continued to coordinate Exelon’s annual assistance.”  Based on a shift in need over the years, Debbi’s efforts became focused on coordinating Exelon’s support of the Toys for Tots portion of the holiday campaign.

“My husband, Mike, and I not only began managing Exelon’s toy collection, but started asking friends to bring unwrapped toys to our annual Christmas party.  We also started promoting the campaign on FaceBook,” Debbi explains, “And, we believe that it’s probably one of the best holiday traditions we could build with our two children, Maddi and Ben, as they grow older.”

Last year, KACS’ Toys for Tots campaign delivered over 1,300 toys to local families; and every year the need continues to grow exponentially.  This year, toy drop boxes will be located throughout Kennett Consolidated & Unionville/Chadds Ford Schools, corporate offices of Genesis and Exelon, local merchants including Bedbugzz and The Market at Liberty Place; in addition, community members should also be on the lookout for special events like “Toy Drive Night” at Two Stones Pub and other unique area locations.  If you have questions, or would like to help the Sears grow the 2014 Toys for Tots Campaign, please contact Mike:  michael_sears@steris.com or 610-235-6185.

In addition to toys, KACS is also in need of food (specific details can be found on their website) and monetary support to keep its important holiday campaign and year-long mission going.  Financial contributions can be made by credit card/PayPal on the KACS website:  www.kacsonline.net, checks should be made payable to Kennett Area Community Service and mailed to the following address:


P.O. Box 1025

Kennett Square, PA 19348 

The KACS office & KFC (136 West Cedar Street, Kennett Square) are open 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday thru Friday.  Food, financial and toy donations are currently being accepted.  If you’d like to volunteer or to help organize a food, coat or toy drive at your school or business, please call KACS: (610) 925-3556.

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