October 19th & 20th Dunlap, TN
Free Admission, Parking, Door Prizes & Raffle Items
This weekend is a great opportunity for some family fun at the Yesteryear Fall Festival in Dunlap, TN. There will be activities for the kids, great food and entertainment. While you are there on Saturday stop by my table to say hello and make a donation to the food bank. Hope to see you there!
October 19th & 20th Dunlap, TN
Free Admission, Parking, Door Prizes & Raffle Items
To kick off the HELP STOP HUNGER Campaign the youth group from the New Beginnings Church set up a road block at a red light in Kimball, TN. The road block was a great success for many reasons. Read the stories below and see the difference that your donations have already made in our community.
First off we had a group of great kids that spent their Saturday morning in the hot sun handing out flyers, holding posters and take donations for people in need that they haven't met before. They could have been at home watching tv or hanging out with friends but they volunteered to help their community. A BIG thank you to those teens and the youth leaders Casey and Andrew Cudd and Haley McNabb. Teen Helpers: Lance, Jace (Case), Destiny, Skylar, Allie and Shelby. You guys are AMAZING TEENS!
Throughout the morning we met some great people. We met several people from our local community and from Alabama, from Georgia and even from Virginia. We had people wanting to know more about the Marion County food bank and what they could do to help. Luckily, we were prepared to answer those questions by handing out over 150 flyers. Most people think they must have a lot of money to help someone in need but all you need is a caring heart and some time.
Here are some stories of our giving angels.
We met one lady that is a volunteer at the food bank and she expressed a sincere thank you to our teen group for getting donations. She gladly made a donation.
We met a couple with their children that said they are recipients of the food bank and if it weren't for them then they wouldn't be able to feed their children each month.
One lady was not going to donate, which we honor everyone's wishes but she says to one of the teens, "What are you taking money for anyway?" When the teen expressed that we are trying to help stop hunger in our community and help those in need, the woman says "Oh well then, all I have is $10 is that okay?" Um YES! That was a huge donation, thank you lady!
We also met a man that had his son in the vehicle with him on a breathing machine. He said that he receives help through the food bank and if it weren't for their assistance he didn't think he could care for his son.
FYI: Not sure if everyone knows this, I didn't before I got involved with the food bank...but they not only give out food items but they also assist people with paying their utility bills. How awesome is that!
The NBC Youth group will present the food bank with a check from the road block donations within a few weeks when they are scheduled to have a service day. They will be going to volunteer for a day. The boys will be outside mowing and cleaning the outside of the building while the young ladies will be inside helping to hand out food boxes and cleaning the inside. We invite anyone interested in coming out to help, just call me and let me know.
On a personal note: It really made my heart smile yesterday watching these teens and seeing all the smiling faces so willing to give to others. If you ever feel that you are searching for something in life or need a hobby I encourage you to find something that will give you passion and become a volunteer. Even if it's to read to an elderly neighbor because again all you need is a willing heart and some time. You don't need money to make a difference to some one else.
A BIG THANK YOU to the Kimball Mayor, David Jackson for his quick response to help, the interest he expressed in assisting the food bank and for his personal donation when he came by to support us at the road block. A GREAT BIG thank you to Chief, Tommy Jordan for his quick action to get all the appropriate paperwork and dates in line for the road block. Thank you both for helping make this event a great success.
Please keep checking back for updates on upcoming events on the What's New page. Please post on this blog and share the Help Stop Hunger campaign with all your friends and family. If you see a mason jar in town please send me a picture of you making a donation so I can post it in the blog.
Most importantly I thank God for his grace, his love, and his mercy. Enjoy these photos from the road block!
The sense of sadness!
My family and I participated in the Hope Project this past Saturday. The Hope Project is a group of people within Marion County who have a passion to better their community.
Our desire is to bring hope to Marion County through radical community service.
My husband was the Project Leader for the Marion County Food Bank. As we pulled up at the donated building, that is falling apart and in much need of repair, there were cars already waiting for the doors to open. We were greeted by a stray dog looking for food and comfort. As we waited for the volunteer to arrive several more cars joined the already 3-4 cars waiting. I sat in the van with my husband as we talked about the list of repairs the outside of the building needed.
The Volunteer, Mrs. Ginger arrives and it seemed as if everyone was racing to the door to beat the next person. Like it was BLACK FRIDAY and everyone was racing to get the $100 TV on sale for the first 10 people that were in line. I just took my time gathering up the boxes of donated food and began carrying them in. The people were lined up to the door to check into the computer. I continue into the back room to start organizing the donated food and unpack boxes. My daughter and her friend were also there and they had already made a friend with another one of the volunteers, Courtney.
After our volunteers did the quick video to help make people aware of the community need I asked Mrs. Ginger how she got involved in the food bank. She shared the story with me that her husband had a dream that he and his wife were to operate a food bank for the needy. She said they lived in the typical busy life style in Atlanta, Georgia. Getting close to retirement age they sold their home there and relocated here. They first began to volunteer their time and within a short period of time they both became co-managers splitting up the responsibilities. They have been volunteering their time for over 10 years to the Marion County Food Bank. What really touched my heart was when we asked Mrs. Ginger to share information for the video as she spoke with passion her eyes began to tear up. You could see the love she had for her "calling"! What an inspiration to others... to think so many wonderful things happen in this world because of a vision or a dream; if only everyone had the COURAGE to follow them.
As I go back into the front room I snapped a few photos of the people standing in line for their box and I noticed that everyone had the saddest looks on their faces. So, I put up my phone and went to speak to them, wish them cheer and Merry Christmas. As I spoke to one couple I noticed that no matter how encouraging I tried to be they just didn't smile. The wife just continue to say, it just doesn't feel like Christmas. Soon, I went to the clothing rack to hang up donated clothes. There was a man standing there and each time I would pull out a shirt or jacket that looked like it could fit him I would offer it to him. "How about this jacket?" "This shirt looks warm, you interested in it?" He just kept telling me "NO, thanks." One of the other ladies were also hanging up clothes and she had a small jacket in her hands and the guy says really quick, "What size is that?" with excitement. I looked as she said "size 5t and it's in really good condition." He said, "I'll take it!" Then I said, "you can have this jacket for yourself too if you want" and he said, "no, look at the sign." The sign said only 1 item per person. This man passed on a jacket for himself to get one for his little child. I took a BIG swallow, not for embarrassment of my mistake, but because the fact that this man HAD to make the decision to get a coat for himself or his child. Of course, he made the right decision BUT it's the fact that he had to, that upset me. It really broke my heart, why couldn't he had enough for the entire family? The reason was because there aren't enough donations to go around. We clean out closets and trash old clothes and items all the time but these people go without. UGH!
Then I started chatting with the volunteer Courtney. She shared that she was 24 years old, a recovering meth user, mother of 3, and the Food bank had helped her and now she is volunteering on Saturdays as part of her work release program. She shared how she got to that point in her life and as we chatted we both began to tear up. The sad part is that as children we both had very similar backgrounds, almost the very same with abuse and poverty. It just brought me back to think that I could be her and she could be me. I gave her a copy of my book, hoping this will encourage and motivate her. She said she would come here and share her story and I hope that she does because I believe there are so many women out there that can relate to her. I'm praying for you Courtney and hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!
To say that I got so much more that day then I had expected is a HUGE understatement. To see the families with their heads down facing the floor, as if they were humbling themselves to even be there asking for help. I thought back to when I was a child and I remember church's that brought a box of food and gifts to our house on Christmas eve each year and how excited I was to get it. I wonder if my Granny's face was a sad as those at the food bank? To think of Ginger, the courage for her and her husband to sale their home and move to follow their dream that God gave them. Do I have *the* courage to give up everything and follow God's will in my life? And then Courtney, looking at her and yet seeing myself inside there begging for a better life. Yes, my life changed on Saturday... BUT I am praying that for whom ever reads this it will also change your life. To encourage you to make a small change to help a neighbor, a friend at work, or a stranger on the street. Your $5 for starbucks could be someone's meal for an entire day. Your jacket that you haven't worn in 6 years could be what keeps a man warm as he is working. Our disposable income/items could be someone's life line. Christmas is the time of giving but there are 12 months within a year, let's make giving a habit year round.
Please leave a comment if you are interested in helping or if you would like to share encouragement! People think we have to be rich to help others when in reality it only takes having a giving heart! DO YOU HAVE A GIVING HEART? If so, come here to post what you have done, put $5 in the salvation army bucket, give $1 to Saint Jude's hospital, a coat to a stranger, or a toy to a child. No matter how big or small, please share your story here in hopes to encourage others to do the same! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Contact info: Marion County Food Bank - Gary and Ginger England 423-942-8799
Each year, the Chattanooga Community Kitchen offers you the opportunity to Give Hope to your family, friends, co-workers and anyone else on your Holiday list.
When you Give Hope, we hand address, sign and send beautifully embossed cards to everyone on your list; each card includes a lovely Give Hope ornament and informs the recipient of your gift in their honor: "In the spirit of the season, a gift to feed the hungry has been donated in your name to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen"
This year, leave *the* Holiday work to us. Send us your list and indicate how you would like us to sign the cards. We'll do the rest. We ask a $15 donation per card (or $10 without the ornament). Please remember to include a phone number in case we need to contact you as we complete your order. Giving Hope is easy... contact the Chattanooga Community Kitchen by either website: www.homlesschattanooga.org OR office # 423.756.4222.
Won't you Give Hope this Holiday Season?
I want to
hear from you!
Do you have
questions or advise
you would like to give?
Tell your friends and family to Join the Journey with us!