“We dedicate ourselves to providing stability for families with hopes that one day, they can pay if forward, and make a difference in the lives of others. “
Leaves colored various hues of yellow and orange flitted in the wind on the chilly November afternoon as we packed backpacks with food for the upcoming weekend. The facility was buzzing with energy as we packed the assorted goods ranging from canned fruits and vegetables, to pasta and macaroni and cheese; it was always an exciting time knowing that all of this food would go to the area’s families in need. However, this weekend in particular was special because it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, meaning that all of these meals would feed families who did not have the means to prepare anything for the holiday. Therefore, we were expecting a large turnout for the day’s event.
As we were filling backpacks with various food items, we were approached by a woman whom we assumed to be picking up her food. I grabbed a prepared backpack from behind the table and stuk my arms out to pass it to her, but she shyly smiled and said, “no, thank you.”
“Good afternoon,” she started. “ Not too long ago, I had signed up for your program because my family was going through difficult times. Neither my husband, nor myself were working at the time, so your program has made a significant impact on my family’s lives.”
“Well, I am so glad to hear that,” I replied with a large smile that did not justly represent the overwhelming joy and satisfaction I felt This is why I do what I do, I thought.
“Fortunately,” she started again, “My husband has found a job now, and we will not need our food box. “
“It’s yours to keep, I stated, “you signed up for the box. Besides, we want to help you and your family get back on your feet.
“That’s very thoughtful of you,” she said, “ But, I would like for you to take this Thanksgiving meal and pass it on to a family that has not been as fortunate as mine.”
I noticed the tears beginning to well in the corners of her eyes, and I too was startled by the droplets cascading down my cheeks.
“Thank you,” I managed to choke out past the lump invading my throat. I walked around the table and wrapped my arms tightly around her in both gratitude for her generosity and in congratulations for her family’s newfound financial security. We both knew that this food would mean a lot another family on this year’s Thanksgiving.
“You all do such amazing work, and I hope you continue with the program because it truly saves lives,” she said gripping me firmly by the shoulders as if firmly pleading with me. I nodded my head vigorously, further affirming my unyielding commitment to feeding families across our area.
This woman’s story is what we are all about: being there for the family and the community when they are in need. We dedicate ourselves to providing stability for families with hopes that one day, they can pay if forward, and make a difference in the lives of others.