Happy New Year to all our volunteers, supporters and friends who help Heartland Hunger & Resource Center.
It’s already the second week of January, 2014. We have been very busy during the last months of 2013 providing families with holiday baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as food each week.
One of the highlights of December was handing out gifts for the children. For several years now, Santa’s helper Lynn McLin has organized this event and distributes the gifts through the McCall Fire & EMS. Thanks to the generosity of churches and individuals, well over 100 children who had signed up received pajamas, socks and a book. In addition, we were able to give out “extras” – toys, books, clothing – for children whose families showed up at the firehouse, needing a Christmas something for their kids. . What a wonderful, cooperative effort it was!
Even though this year the holidays fell on Wednesday, our normal day to be open, we made the decision to stay open. The volunteers who served on Christmas Day say that it was truly the best present – for them – because the clients were so appreciative. There were a lot of tears of joy. It is for this we’ve been called to serve, no matter what time, day or season.
The choice pantry has been operating since September and is very well received. Our clients like the freedom of taking what they can really use for their families. Even though it’s crowded in our facility, the children help their parents shop or they browse through books on the KidsShelf. Our volunteers like the closer relationships with the clients and hearing their stories. I have to wonder why i t took me personally so long to make the change and can only attribute it to a less than perfect attitude toward something which was untried. Sometimes, doing the same old becomes stultifying. And boring. And boring leads to uninspired complacency. Seeing how” choice” positively affects both families and volunteers, I was dead wrong.
Looking forward into this year, we build on the successes and mistakes of the last 13 years, even as new opportunities to serve come. Hopefully, we’ll be moving to our new building by fall and will probably do so in stages so that the food bank does not need to be closed at any time. The needs of children are of particular interest for HH&RC, as is getting healthier food, fresher produce and more meat for families.
It is exciting to be a part of a community which works to help each another. All of us at HH&RC commit to helping food insecure families this year to the best of our abilities.
Being blessed by this community we want to bless everyone who comes for help, “no matter what their reason for coming is.”