Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On a recent morning my devotion started with these wonderful words...

"This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118; verse 24
I do rejoice in this day!  For Harvest Hope Food Bank and the many people who depend on us everyday, I rejoice for the heartfelt generosity of two local business leaders who have family-owned companies and who truly know the joy and blessing that can only come from providing for others who are, at this current time, in need of a little assistance. The Mungo and the Cassels families and their collective group of employees, clients, and supporters have shown their compassion and humanitarian spirits by pledging large donations with the consideration that others open their hearts to give as well. It is through their work that the Lord blesses the food bank so we can help those who need us so desperately. 

Just as the Mungo family through Mungo Homes did in March, Southeastern Freight Lines will be matching a gift of $150,000 if others in the community donate a total of $300,000 to Harvest Hope. This is a huge blessing!  You are a part of this and your participation is as critical as the very nature of hunger. 

We are taught in God's word that we are to be thankful for facing difficult times.  Times when in our human frailty we have the tendency to feel like no one cares, no one will help and no one will rescue us or others in need. This is just the same as a family will feel when going to their kitchen cabinets to find very little or nothing there.  We are assured through God's teachings that when we open ourselves to be thankful in all things He will use that situation to show His blessings.  We are reminded to not fear, but to have faith and trust in Him.  He knows what our needs are and will meet our needs according to His will. 

This is a strong message that must be shared.  Harvest Hope Food Bank came to you one month ago with a plea to help us raise $2 million dollars to assure a continuation of service to those in need.  With the success of the Mungo match, completed in just over three weeks, we rejoice that we have achieved 25% of our goal. Now with the new Southeastern Freight Lines offer, if we can raise another $300,000, their gift of $150,000 will be a reality and we will then have achieved 50% of our overarching goal.  I am thankful for the difficulties we have faced stemming from the need for service delivery and for the critical situation it has caused for us. Because it is through these difficult circumstances we see the wonderful involvement of sharing not only the stories of hunger, but the courage of those who help meet the demand.  That courage includes you!

I have so much respect for the grace and spirit of these two outstanding SC companies for their recognition and support of the work Harvest Hope does everyday in 20 counties to meet hunger needs.  I also thank you, our loyal donors for the same earnest conviction that proves you too support our daily work to help assure that no child, no family, no senior citizen should worry and not go without the vital nourishment our food provides. 

I ask you, beg you, and prevail upon you with all of my heart, to again help us reach this match.  School will be out for summer very soon. Many families facing difficult economic circumstances benefit from the free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches their children receive at school.  It continues to be a worrisome truth that every day school is out families are forced to come to one of our member agencies or a mobile food pantry, or to one of our own Emergency Food Pantries.  Lines outside any of these locations continue to be long and their frustration is palatable when stomachs grumble. As summer grows closer each day, rather than the relaxation many dream of, the hunger worry grows stronger and becomes a nightmare.  We must continue our push to get ready to feed them. 

There are many ways to participate in the Southeastern Freight Line match.  Certainly a donation to help us get closer to our goal is essential. But even more important is to ask your conviction to tell others of why you support Harvest Hope as your personal passion. Your courage to speak up for hunger is definitely the reason someone else will follow your shining example.  Just as we have great leaders like the Mungos and the Cassels from Southeastern Freightlines, you too are a leader.  You are a leader that provides the real example that you are not going to stand as long as there is one hungry person in our midst. You are a leader because you feel strongly that by working together we can meet the dire critical emergency need of hunger.  Someone watching you right now is looking for a reason to get involved to help others and will feel compelled by your example to do the same.

At, there are details on how to give online or how to have a virtual food drive. We recommend setting up a competition between offices, departments, neighborhoods, other organized teams or civic clubs to see who can organize the food drive with the biggest results.  As you stop at a Corner Pantry in Calhoun, Orangeburg, Lexington, Richland, Clarendon, Kershaw or Florence counties or if you are in Blythewood at a Blythewood Oil station, buy an "I HOPE" card for $1.  Write on the card anything you hope for, and while doing so you are Helping Our People Eat for Harvest Hope Food Bank.

We so very badly need your help. With a financial donation and your word to pass the need along to others or most definitely your praises for the great people who have the courage to step forward as we press toward our 2 million goal. Please know I also personally ask for your prayers as we strive forward.

Lastly, please do not think that you are not needed.  You are always needed. With every gift, whether a financial donation, time to volunteer, or other idea to share we come closer to our goal to feed the hungry people are depending on all of us.  You are the best ambassadors for Harvest Hope!

From all of us, we so very thankful! You are counted among the blessings just as Mungo Homes and Southeastern Freightlines.  Let's rejoice this day and press forward to the goal!

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