Volunteering in the Time of Covid: Our Summer Food and Supplies Drive
GT member, Gail Dratch (right), delivers food and cleaning supplies to Becky's House. Also pictured is Gina Esipila, program director for Becky's House, a project of Interfaith Works.
How do you harness the passion Giving Together members have to help the community amid a global pandemic?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With the leadership and ingenuity of Pam Feinstein and Harriet Shugerman, Co-Chairs of GT’s Community Service Committee, we adapted our monthly, in-person volunteering efforts into a successful food and supplies drive for our grantees.
Early in the pandemic, Pam and Harriet realized that sending GT members out to volunteer in person at our grantee partners would not be safe or feasible. As GT Liaisons checked in with our grantees, they continuously heard that their clients urgently needed food, personal care items, cleaning supplies and gift cards to buy other needed goods.
In early June, GT organized its first of two monthly collections for these critical items. In June, 22 members donated food, supplies and gift cards for distribution to clients of four grantee organizations: A Wider Circle, CASA, Interfaith Works (Becky’s House) and We Are Family. In July, eleven members donated items distributed to four other grantees - Aspire, (Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program), Food for Others, Healthy Babies Project, Inc, and Nourish Now.
Thanks to all those who generously donated food, supplies or gift cards, we collected a significant number of much-needed items and a total of $1460 in gift cards. We also want to extend a special thanks to our GT grantee liaisons -- Susan Alberts, Gail Dratch, Nancy Ebb, Lynn O’Connell, Harriet Shugerman, Leah Steinberg and Wendy Yaross, who collected and/or delivered the items to our grantee sites.
As the saying goes, it takes a village. And, sometimes, it takes a Giving Circle.