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Good Neighbors: Oakfield pumpkins with a purpose

Visitors pay what they can afford at the Lamb family pumpkin stand in Genesee County. Every penny earned is donated to local charities, totaling $16,000 over 6 yrs.

OAKFIELD, N.Y. — Many families are looking to buy the perfect pumpkin this time of year, and if you buy from one farm in Genesee county, you know you'll be buying a pumpkin with a purpose.

"We started out just giving the pumpkins to friends and family, but we ended up having more than what we needed just for friends and family," said Kendra Lamb.

That was six years ago, and every year since then the Lamb family's dairy farm in Oakfield has put up a pumpkin stand by the road and they've donated all of their earnings.

They don't even price the pumpkins and gourds. They just ask patrons to give what they see fit. 

According to Lamb, the family raised $400 for the local chapter of Alex's Lemonade Stand in 2015, $800 for the Oakfield Fire Department in 2016, $1,200 in 2017 for the Oakfield Library, $1,800 for the Fuel Young Minds Food Pantry in the Oakfield-Alabama School District in 2018, and $3,600 for the Oakfield-Alabama chapter of Future Farmers of America in 2019.

"This year has been exponential growth," said Lamb. "We've raised $8,000 so far."

That's a game-changer for this year's beneficiary, Project Stork, Inc. 

From the planting, to the harvesting, to the check presentations, the Lamb children,11-year-old Chloe and 9-year-old Claire, have learned valuable lessons about being good farmers and "Good Neighbors."

"It feels good to help the community," said Claire.

Chloe added, "It makes me feel really good and it helps me know not to keep all the money that I make for myself because it feels so much better to give it out to the community."

Project Stork is a 501c3 non-profit organization that serves almost 200 families from Genesee and Orleans counties on a monthly basis. The organization doesn't provide just diapers and wipes to families in need, but also education and connection to other family resources. 

"This donation means so much to our organization and will impact so many local families on such a personal level," said Jenny Staebell, founder of Project Stork, Inc. "Given the pandemic, our numbers continue to grow in participants accessing our services." 

The mission of Project Stork is to:

-reduce the amount of stress, frustration, embarrassment that diaper need and basic supplies has on families 

-increase the frequency of diaper changes among babies and toddlers enrolled in the program

-ensure that families are provided with monthly resources, referrals and outreach, that are specific to their family

-ensure that perinatal and postpartum moms are supported with resources to improve maternal mental health during and after pregnancy

-provide education and distribution in the area of sleep safe and infant car seat safety to over 300 program participants yearly

Since Project Stork relies solely on donations and grants, this year's donation of $8,000 from the Lamb family's pumpkin stand will help to achieve those goals.

"Certainly the love and generosity from the Lamb Family is overwhelming. The world needs more pumpkin patches," said Staebell.

To learn more about Project Stork, click here, or visit its Facebook page

The Lamb family will continue to accept donations and sell their pumpkins through the end of the month or while supplies last. The farm is located on Maltby Road in Oakfield, behind the elementary school. 

The Lamb family was nominated to be featured in the "Good Neighbors" series on Channel 2 News. If you know of a person, group, business or organization who should be featured, email details to Melissa.Holmes@wgrz.com.

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