COLORADO SPRINGS — A retired Air Force Chaplain hopes people will give to those who may not be experiencing a cheery holiday season.
Mark Ingles is asking people to donate non-perishable food items to give to families who worry about where their next meals come from.
As visitors enjoy the 6,000 or more LED lights, that he’s set up since the day after Halloween, Ingle asks them to lend a hand to those less fortunate. Ingles said he’s always had a hunger for the holidays.
“I have been crazy Christmas decorator for years and years,” said Ingles. “I would decorate my folk’s house up in Aurora, Colorado where I grew up.”
The past five years he’s been feeding others collecting cans for Christmas and sending them to Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs. His drive-thru donation box keeps the food temperature controlled.
“I got to the point where even with the bigger, yes it’s a freezer, but it’s actually warmer because you don’t want canned food to freeze,” Ingles said.
The first year he collected 165 pounds of food and in 2018 he collected 1,650 pounds. His goal this year a ton of food — that’s 2,000 pounds and Ingles believes this community can get there.
“It just shows the real inner parts of people’s hearts,” Ingles said.
The larger-than-life light display is worth the trip. It’s all about giving but Ingles said he gets something out of it too.
“You can see it from everywhere,” Ingles. “I wouldn’t be surprised as aircraft coming in could see it, because it’s pretty bright. It’s that special little smile on their face that really makes a difference.”
Ingles encourages to get the whole family involved and have everyone bring a non-perishable food item.
His home is off Peterson and Barnes Roads at 4910 Nugent Drive.