COLORADO SPRINGS — Ever since 2009, Mark Ingles has spent hundreds of hours decorating his Colorado Springs home for the holidays.
As a former Air Force chaplain, his hobby has turned into something much bigger over the years.
"There have been days I've had cars all the way down and around the corner. I had so many people coming by to see the decorations. I wanted to do more," Ingles said.
Seven years ago he started collecting food donations in front of his holiday display to give to families in need through Care and Share Food Bank. Since then he has donated around 11,000 pounds of food with the help of those passing by.
"For those people that are just struggling, and to be able to provide something for them, I think that's beautiful. And to be able to be a part of that, and to have an impact on that, even in my small way, is fantastic," Ingles said.
With prices at the supermarket up around 12% this year, the donations mean so much more to families in Southern Colorado. Nate Springer, the CEO of Care and Share Food Bank, said a whole new group of people is reaching out for help this year than before.
"It's a lot of working-class families. So it's a lot of soldiers and airmen and their families across Colorado Springs. It's teachers, it's nurses, it's full-time employees. And so just a really big increase this year," he said.
Springer said independent food drives, like Ingles', donated around 263,000 pounds of food last year. He said without those donations and help from food bank volunteers, the holiday season would not be as bright.
"He just represents what our great community members do for our neighbors in need. It should be a lesson to all of us on the power of the difference that one person can make," he said.
The holiday light display at Ingles' home will be up until Jan. 1. You can stop by to see the lights and bring a canned food donation if you are able to. Ingles is also accepting cash donations to be given to the Springs Rescue Mission.
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