December 14, 2017

Good evening, everyone – I wasn’t at the pantry yesterday, but the other volunteers soldiered on.  They served a total of 25 families, including 37 adults, 27 children and 9 seniors.

Ever since Paul Feiner suggested that we put a bin at Greenburgh Town Hall so that people could donate food, I’ve been checking regularly to pick up whatever anybody has donated.  For the last couple of weeks the bin has been overflowing.  A few days ago I loaded the back of my car with a huge assortment of food, which I’ll deliver to the pantry next Wednesday.
There are also two bins at Greenburgh Town Hall for food being collected for Puerto Rico.  Those bins are full, too, but they won’t be able to ship the canned goods to Puerto Rico because they’re too heavy, so all the cans were also donated to us.  So, nothing goes to waste.
Yesterday, instead of being at the pantry, I attended a meeting of the Association of Development Officers.  I went because Eric Nodiff of the Giving Circle of Lower Westchester sent an e-mail around, suggesting that food pantries who have received grants from the Giving Circle might be interested in this group.  Their brochure says they are the “resource for fundraisers in the Hudson Valley”.  They were a warm and welcoming group, although most of them are actually employed as fundraisers, not volunteers.  There were people there from the Alzheimer’s Association, the YMCA, Montefiore Hospital, and so on.  I felt kind of out of place, but they made me feel welcome.
And what they had to say reflected what we volunteers at the pantry do – raise funds for our organization.  Yesterday’s presentation had to do with being authentic and forming a relationship with donors.  In the back of my mind throughout the speech was the image of Linda Herring, the volunteer who writes every thank-you letter and e-mail that we send – and we send a lot of thank-you’s.  She always tries to mention something in particular about the person’s or the organization’s donation – and that was exactly what these presenters were emphasizing.  Linda works hard at this, and we appreciate, and NEED, everything she does.  Thank you and thank you again, Linda.
Next Wednesday we’ll be giving out Stop & Shop gift cards, decorative tote bags and candy canes to the pantry clients.  Then the following Wednesday we’ll go back to normal.  The holidays have been an exciting ride.  Whew!
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