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Heart of the Holiday

Heart of the Holiday adds another dimension to an event that has become a holiday staple in Franklin County — the Franklin County Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau. This holiday season marks the fourth annual Festival event held at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center.

Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance is again the benefactor of the funds raised from the event. New in 2022, FCVB is joining forces with Homeless Matters and Grocery Outlet to bring another community connection to Festival of Trees by adding a 12-days of Christmas event called Sharing the Heart of the Holiday.

Sharing the Heart of the Holiday is a giving and receiving event that features a collection of twelve items to support Franklin County residents that need a little help this holiday season.

READ: 4th annual tree festival

12 days of giving

Each of the twelve days has a featured item to correspond with each day of Festival of Trees. Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Homeless Matters, and Grocery Outlet hope to make this an annual part of Festival of Trees. The twelve days and the highlighted collection for each day are:

  • Coats for Kids, November 19
  • Books of All Kinds, November 20 
  • Grocery Gift Cards, November 21
  • Mittens/Gloves, Scarves, Hats, November 22
  • November 23 – Laundry & Hygiene Items
  • (Collections pause on November 24 and 25
  • Gas Gift Cards, November 26
  • Coats for Entire Family ALL Sizes, November 27
  • Games & Snacks for Family Fun Night, November 28
  • Art & School Supplies, November 29
  • Baby Clothes, Formula & Baby Items, November 30
  • Blankets & Linens, December 1
  • Toys, December 2 

“Homeless Matters strives to ease the burdens that face families and assist in providing an opportunity to be successful, even in the face of such personal hardships. Through this wonderful collaboration we can lessen the burden this holiday season and share the heart of the holidays,” said Jacqui Wolfe, the driving force behind Homeless Matters.

Donation locations

Rachel Fulton, co-owner of Grocery Outlet, added, “Grocery Outlet is honored to work with such amazing organizations. We are excited to be a donation location!” 

More donation locations include:

  • Franklin County Visitors Bureau,
  • Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce,
  • Greencastle Chamber of Commerce,
  • Shippensburg Chamber of Commerce,
  • Franklin County Area Development,
  • Waynesboro YMCA,
  • Chambersburg YMCA,
  • Coyle Free Library,
  • Grove Family Library,
  • Elks Lodge of Chambersburg,
  • Penn National Golf Course Community,
  • Sweet Dandelion and
  • One North Main & Bakery Shop in Mercersburg and Cornerstone Financial.

“Bring any of the twelve donation items on any day and add to the collection containers at locations throughout Franklin County. Your gift to Sharing the Heart of the Holiday makes a difference in Franklin County,” said Janet Pollard of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Homeless Matters, and Grocery Outlet invite the public to join the cause by visiting one of the drop-off locations, beginning November 17. Items will be collected through December 5, 2022.


Timothy S. Barrick 1959-2024

Born June 13, 1959 in Carlisle, Tim was a milk truck driver, and was the owner operator of Timothy S. Barrick Inc., of Newville. 

Betty Lou Raukko 1946-2024

Betty was a self-employed artist and poet.  A Quaker-Methodist, she was known as the “Bonnet Lady.”   She is remembered as a loving, kind, happy person.

John E. Coffin 1939-2024

John was a self-employed house painter for most of his career, but later he worked at Gettysburg College in the grounds keeping department.

Ruby LaVern Seville 1940-2024

Ruby was a homemaker most of her life, but did work at the Sagner Company, as well as Johnnies Diner, and for the McConnellsburg School District in the Cafeteria.

Joseph Irvin Sharar 1930-2024

Joseph was a 1949 graduate of Mercersburg High School. A US Marine Corps veteran, he served honorably during the Korean War.

Who We Are

The Franklin County Free Press, established by Vicky Taylor in 2019, emerged as a beacon of local journalism for the residents of Franklin County. Under Vicky's leadership, it quickly became an essential source of news, particularly at a time when major newspaper publications were increasingly overlooking local coverage.

On January 1, 2022, the torch was passed to Nathan Neil and his firm, Neil Publishing, LLC. Neil, a local entrepreneur with multiple thriving businesses in Chambersburg, shares Vicky's fervent commitment to both the community and the world of local journalism.

Rooted in the heart of Franklin County and powered by its residents, the Franklin County Free Press continues to bridge the gap, ensuring that the local stories, events, and issues that matter most to the community remain in the spotlight.