WHAT AN AMAZING EVENT!
The weather was perfect, the shoppers were generous and the volunteers were cheerful and hardworking. All these things combined to make the food bank’s first participation in Feed the Bay a huge success. By the end of a [very long] day, nearly 8,500 pounds of much needed food donated by Westchase Publix shoppers and members of our partner churches had been collected, trucked to the food bank, unloaded, sorted and stored. As the weeks go on, we will look back at this special event and the blessing of food to fill our shelves and provide for our families in need.
We are so thankful to Bay Life Church, Brandon, and our site coordinator, Eleanor Saunders, for doing such a wonderful organizational job. Everything ran so smoothly! And, special thanks to Westtown Church and Lizz Greenberg for recruiting many of the teen volunteers, to food bank volunteers for working both at the Publix collecting donations and at the food bank unloading and organizing the donations, to Zack Koczanski for videotaping this special day, to Lee Owens for keeping his camera handy, and to our wonderful truck driver, Lawrence.
Click on the video below to see Feed the Bay in action:
VOLUNTEERING MEANS MORE THAN SERVICE HOURS
by Isabel Giovannetti
Freshman, Robinson High School
International Baccalaureate Program
You will start with the idea that you are giving to others, but by the end, you’ll see that, in reality, they are the ones giving to you.
The Kaye Prox food bank consists of countless volunteers working together to accomplish several goals. Besides annual projects such as the school supplies drive, the food bank also distributes emergency food to families in need. While working at the food bank, I learned the importance of cooperation. Each individual had his or her own assignment or role. For example, while some people inventoried the school supplies, others organized them. Additionally, some packed the backpacks for distribution, while others helped the food bank give out the supplies. Every one of those tasks was necessary to accomplish our goal, which was to provide 250 backpacks to children whose families couldn’t afford school supplies. By the end of the project, I began to realize how truly important is to work well with others. I also learned that when a group of generous, committed people come together to reach a common goal, wonderful things can happen.
The philanthropic mindset at Kaye Prox is not only commendable but also contagious. After volunteering at the food bank for just a few hours, it is impossible not to wish to return. It is unimaginable not to be awed by the determination of the volunteers or to be untouched by the smiles of both the workers and the families. Most of all, it is unrealistic to expect to leave unchanged and without any intention of helping the food bank once more.
The cooperative, giving, and selfless attitude held by all those at the food bank has taught me a very important lesson. That lesson has stayed with me even seven months later. It has taught me that the experiences gained when helping others are extremely valuable and that what you learn from those experiences is priceless. Often times, high school students volunteer because they need service hours for school. I am, most definitely, included in that group. However, I can truly say that I have learned so much from my time volunteering at the food bank. I can also say that, if you choose to donate your time at Kaye Prox, you will walk away with much more than a completed service hours sheet. I encourage any teenager to take this opportunity to learn the value of working together and helping those in need. You will start with the idea that you are giving to others, but by the end, you’ll see that, in reality, they are the ones giving to you.
This year the Kaye Prox Food Bank is participating in the annual Feinstein $1 Million Challenge to Fight Hunger. For the 17th consecutive year, Alan Shawn Feinstein, a philanthropist from Rhode Island, will divide $1 million among non-profit hunger fighting agencies nationwide. From March 1 through April 30, any funds or food (counted as $1.00 per pound or item) donated directly to the food bank and designated for the challenge will be partially matched. Although hundreds of agencies will participate, the food bank will receive a minimum of $250 from the Feinstein Foundation.
It is easy to participate and support the food bank. Just include “For Feinstein Challenge” on any check you send to the food bank in March or April or include a note with the same information for donations of cash. Your donations during these two months will make you a partner in the most successful ongoing grassroots effort ever to fight hunger!
For additional information about The Alan Shawn Feinstein Foundation and the 2014 17th Annual $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger go to http://www.feinsteinfoundation.org/index.htm