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Esther Crumbley Christmas Food Giveaway is a Success

February 6, 2019

The 2018 Esther Crumbley Christmas Food Giveaway has been considered a phenomenal success. According to Community Resource's Lisa Gonzales - one of the program's organizers, this success is a reflection of the ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm of those behind each and every giveaway.

Gonzales cited the many contributors to the cause - the volunteers, monetary donors, event location, services of trucks, recycling bins, and even food for the volunteers.

As to the volunteers, Gonzales said there were a total of 41 who helped with the 2018 giveaway. She said she wanted to personally thank these volunteers for their contribution of time to the event. She said the event would not have been a success without volunteers' involvement, as preparations for the giveaway takes a lot of work. Gonzales noted how more than 400 families were served as a result of the volunteers' hard work and support. Those helped range from senior citizens, to families of 10.

Gonzales described how so many are affected by the program - those who are helped and fed as a result of the giveaway, as well as those who get involved and offer help. For instance, the library donates books to the cause, while Sprouse donates the use of a truck to pick-up supplies. Witschey's Market assists with the program, while Magnolia FFA members help as well. Gonzales noted how the program was even aided by a 90-year-old volunteer.

The Esther Crumbley Giveaway itself was conducted over the course of two days. On Dec. 20, a Thursday, volunteers met that evening to organize the items to be given, as well as set-up stations. The next day was the giveaway, which lasted from 9 a.m. that morning to noon. Volunteers assist clients as they gather their goods.

This year, clients received chicken, as well as peanut butter, jelly, bread, milk, canned goods, potatoes, and desserts. Non-food items such as books and toilet tissue were also given. These items are gathered by clients by using carts loaned by Witschey's. Once the clients have selected their items, the items are bagged and taken to the clients' vehicles.

Gonzales noted, of the process, that she is a firm believer in treating everyone with dignity and respect. She said she is sure to speak to all volunteers and remind them of their purpose to serve.

The amount of items given depends on monetary contributions; thus, organizers of the Esther Crumbley Giveaway depend on the gracious donations of businesses and individuals.

Gonzales understands that money is a concern for many, so every dime counts. She said organizers of the giveaway work with what they have. However, organizers only accepted money for the food donations, because items are purchased at-cost and in bulk.

New and used coats, hats, and gloves are also accepted for the giveaway; however, these items find new homes relatively quickly. Gonzales explained how the Esther Crumbley Giveaway accepts donations year-round. She noted she would like to solicit businesses earlier in the year, in order to provide a better notice. She said she would also like more individuals involved in the program.

Gonzales said the Esther Crumbley Giveaway is a good program for the county, but help is always needed to continue to make the giveaway possible. She said the program's continuing success would not have been possible without the volunteers and their gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support. She noted she, Chair Ephram Wade, Co-Chair Carolyn Yoho, and Community Resources would like to thank all of those who made the program happen this year.

"We want to extend a heartfelt "Thank You" to anyone involved in organizing the giveaway, and we are counting down the days until we work together again on the worthwhile endeavor," she noted.



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