I just got home from today’s pantry, and I wanted to thank you.

I had major surgery last week to remove an ectopic pregnancy. I have spent my time since in a daze. I was unsure of how I was going to be able to carry on thru this Thanksgiving after losing my first child. To make matters worse, money was tight before, and now with me out of work, and not able to collect short term disability from work due to only working 883 out of the required 1020 hours I was numb with worry. How was I even going to eat this week let alone make a Thanksgiving meal for my family?

I heard about your organization through a friend, and I was skeptical. I swallowed my pride and went. I don’t know what I was fully expecting, but it was not to be treated with such warmth and respect by strangers. Your volunteers seem to genuinely believe in helping others. It’s such a rare thing. I’ve always worked retail, and my previous experience with strangers has always been at best being treated as a subhuman. I’ve never experienced the level of respect I received today. As I fought back tears I was wished a happy holiday, complimented, and not one person looked down on me for needing “handouts”.

You are truly all beautiful people and I hope in the future I can return the kindness shown to me today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God Bless!
~Anonymous Recipient

Project SHARE – So Many Ways to Share
By Marcia Lamp

So many people, like me, come to Project SHARE because they can’t afford food. I don’t know what I would do without Project SHARE. But after coming here I found out that Project SHARE isn’t just food. It is truly a sharing project!

There are so many ways people can share and you don’t need money. You can share your time and talents! Of course there is distribution week. Whole families can pass out food to recipients. It is a wonderful way to show even the youngest child how great it is to donate time to a worthy cause.

But did you know that there is always something happening at Project SHARE that anyone can help with? One thing for me is harvest kitchen. This is preparing and canning produce for sale by Project SHARE. Not only is it fun, but you can make new friends. At the same time you learn a new skill and help raise money.

If you can count there are oranges, apples onions, etc. to be counted and bagged for recipients. If you like harvesting produce there is “gleaning” in local farmers fields. Another way you have never thought of sharing is cardboard recycling. I just moved and I am definitely bringing my empty boxes to Project SHARE to be bailed and sold. Clothing donations for Community Aid can be brought to the bins at Project SHARE and Project SHARE gets the benefit.

The Farm stand can always use volunteers to distribute produce to anyone in the community; not just Project SHARE recipients. I have only scratched the surface of opportunities available to share at Project SHARE. Why don’t you sign up as a Project SHARE volunteer and find new friends, fellowship, and satisfaction of being part of a sharing project.
~Volunteer: Marcia Lamp

“To the most caring, compassionate, humble people here at the Project SHARE who have such humanity, humility, empathy and kind, kind people. I have been here four times including today. I never needed help like this before and it is a little scary and embarrassing at first, but the way you all treated me when I first came here is humbling. I cried on the way home after my first trip. I know things will get better for me but, right now I need your help and I always say thank you when I’m picking up my food but it did not feel enough. I wish for you all to spread this letter around so you know you do touch people and impact them and honestly put food on my table because I do not know what I would do without your help at this time. So even if you do not hear this enough from me, please know I certainly appreciate all you do for me and others. I was raised mostly by my grandparents, the words of wisdom and humanity and many, many more have been planted into me and I miss them dearly. They were the soul food to my world and our entire family, so when they passed how well we all know how very much they’re missed. I will be generous with my love today, I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. Strive to be the first: First to nod, first to smile, first to compliment, and first to forgive. Always dedicate some of your life to others. Your dedications will not be a sacrifice. It will be an exhilarating experience because it is an intense effort applied toward a meaningful end. Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference. If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day. When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive–to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love–then make that day count. These all are the things I have learned or been taught and I am forever, fulfilled and feel so blessed because of it.
I may only be 42 years old with three daughters and the past year of tragedies and hardships has only made me reach deeper with such thoughts and feelings. My favorite definition for faith is “Daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see”. I instill these same things in my girls and as a mom and human being it’s just humbling to see them living it and carrying on such blessed advice as a survival guide what life really is about. One more thing that has completed the guide is that growing old is a privilege because not everyone gets to do it. So back to this letter to you all. I appreciate all your time and compassion and kind words and it’s not wasted on me. I am forever grateful and will continue to give back myself. We are here to serve God, and to serve God is to serve his people.
God bless you all.