RICHMOND, ILLINOIS — Leif and Tracy Anderson had to think hard this year about whether their small business could swing its annual Give Back Box fundraiser.
The Andersons are the third generation of candy makers at Anderson’s Candy Shop, in Richmond, Illinois. For nearly a decade, the shop has sold a special assortment of candies at Christmastime which raises money to help the uninsured.
The box of chocolates is called the Give Back Box because Anderson’s donates 25% of each sale to the Family Health Partnership Clinic of Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Since 2012, the annual campaign has raised more than $35,000 for the clinic, which has translated to medications, procedures and clinical tests for those who would have had nowhere else to go.
“We decided we had to do it this year,” said Tracy Anderson. “We thought the clinic needs it more than ever. We have to make it work.”
Anderson’s Candy Shop will celebrate its 101st Christmas this December. The shop has been a landmark since the 1940s for those traveling to the Lake Geneva area. Anderson’s not only serves handmade chocolates to state line fans, but it has been recognized nationally for quality. The shop also ships candy nationwide.
Although every penny has been crucial to keeping the candy shop going through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Andersons felt it was crucial to push forward with their charitable campaign.
Family Health Partnership Clinic cancelled its annual fundraiser gala back in April, and the candy makers knew the clinic could use the support.
“We also knew that, nationwide, the uninsured have typically been more affected by the Covid-19 crisis,” said Tracy Anderson.
During the week of Halloween, the Andersons unveiled the 2020 Give Back Boxes.
This year’s box features chocolate covered marshmallows garnished with peppermint flavored candy cane shaped sprinkles, dark chocolate “pudding” chocolate creams, and milk chocolate salted caramels.
The shop plans to make up to 750 boxes this season. Typically, the candy store sells approximately 1,000 boxes.
“It will be a challenge to make too much more than that while also making candy for the rest of our line,” Leif Anderson said.
The lockdown in Illinois last March and April nearly brought production at the shop to a halt just before the second busiest time of year — Easter.
Since then, it has been a roller coaster of supply and staffing shortages, and one giant pivot to try and make ordering online and for curbside pickup easier.
“We have thrown out the rule book,” Leif Anderson said. “This year has challenged us in ways we have not been challenged since World War II, when Dad was serving in Europe and my Grandpa Arthur had to temporarily shut down the shop.”
He said they will have to choose carefully what they make with the time, supplies and talent they have. “But supporting those in need has to stay a priority.”
Give Back Boxes are $20 each and are available in Anderson’s Candy Shops locations on Route 12, in Richmond, and on Main Street, in Barrington, Illinois.
They are also available to be shipped at AndersonsCandyShop.com.
Anderson’s Candy Shop is also a drop-off location for the Jake Vinyard Foundation’s Feed 33 Campaign, a stateline effort to collect food for local families in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
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