A Message from the Board Chair
Last fall, I agreed to mentor a high school student, Jeremy, through the Confirmation process at our church. Part of this process included the Confirmand's participation in a meaningful service project. Jeremy chose to do something for Homes with Hope.
With the help of Audrey and Jeff, we agreed that a mutually beneficial activity would be to expand HwH's weekday food pantry operations to include Saturday. This would serve the community by providing additional access for people who could not make it to the pantry during the week.
It tool several weeks to familiarize ourselves with the pantry operations. After the first month, the regular crew of Jeremy, his friend Khaliq who was also going through Confirmation, Jeremy's father, Jim, my wife, Sara, daughter, Alexandra, and I had established a good routine and became effiecent in our work. We also got more deeply involved. What at first seemed like large food stocks began to dwindle. We worried when we ran out of staples like peanut butter, tuna fish and Hamburger Helper. As summer progressed, the shelves got barer while demand (about 50 bags per week) continued. We supplemented the food stocks ourselves, and we tried to get the word out about the need for some of the critical foods. Fortunately, some additional food has arrived, but supplies will be tight until fall when the schools and houses of workship get their food drives active again.
Sometime during our Saturday mornings at the Gillespie Center, what began as a project evolved into a mission. Although Confirmation is completed, the two families continue to staff the pantry on Saturday mornings. It is especially fulilling when someone comes for food, and when we arrive on Saturday and realize the 40 - 50 bags we packed the prior week have been distributed. There is excitement when a new supply of mac & cheese or peanut butter and jelly shows up enabling us to replenish depleted inventory.
Nonprofit organizations like Homes with Hope depend on volunteers to fulfill their mission. Hundreds support our efforts annually with contributions of meals, food, driving and financial support. We could not do our work without their efforts. I urge you to get involved, get your family involved. Hopefully, you will discover, as we have, that work like this is good for the soul.
Chair, Board of Directors