Big, small contributions make a difference


As usual many things have happened this month to share. Our new van is now fully registered and doing the work we hoped it would do. Our first trip to get free pallets of food will happen this week. It is always interesting because you never know what you will get. We continue to thank daily the generous donor and the Montgomery County Community Foundation that made our receiving this gift possible. MCCF makes a difference every day and this is just one example.

This of course is the time of the year when organizations honor the work of their volunteers. FISH is planning a volunteer dinner in May to communicate to our network of volunteers in all three programs how much we appreciate the work they do. We will make this a festive event for our volunteers. Our program directors are coordinating this event with a volunteer committee to honor our fellow workers.

Collaboration is always an important component in the life of service organizations. Two examples of collaboration have come together since I last wrote. A small group of Wabash students have been working this semester on a grant writing project through their course work. These students have done a wonderful job of collecting data, coordinating with program leaders for information and preparing a grant to Kroger for a donation to our food program in the form of money or food. The students have learned a great deal about poverty and used their writing skills to interview and record life stories that our clients face. Poverty is so complex and it was heart wrenching to hear the stories and choices that people must make to survive. In reading them it was clear the our social security safety net has many holes in it. A client gave the students some wise advice. Save your money when you are young.

The second collaboration that is coming soon is with our postal service. May 11, the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, is traditionally the postal workers food drive. You may get a postcard in your mail to ask you to donate. Summer at the food bank is always hard because the children are eating all meals at home. The postal food drive is critical to our survival. Just imagine if every neighbor put two items by their mailbox of stable food to share. Canned goods, boxed dry foods, anything that you would want to eat can be shared with those in need. If you are able to fill a grocery bag that is even better. Be sure that any food you share is new and has a good use date. We always have a large crew of volunteers for that day. The post office weighs the food that is donated and competes with other counties to make their county strong in the support of those in need. So let’s get Montgomery County to shine on May 11 with generosity for our food bank and hope the sun shines as well to make the task easier.

We know that this is the time of year when we celebrate graduations of all kinds. Please remember that even our poorest neighbors want to celebrate these things too. If you buy an extra cake mix or frosting you can bring joy to a family who may not have the means to spend on a luxury like that. A happy community that shows kindness to all is safer as well. Think about what you can do to make our community better. Big things and small all make a difference.


Linda Cherry is president of FISH. She contributes a monthly column to the Journal Review.