Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Henry Edwards Manning, the 19th Century Westminster Archbishop wrote, “Gratitude consists in a watchful, minute attention to the particulars of our state and to the multitude of God’s gifts, taken one by one.  It fills us with a conscientiousness that God loves and cares for us, even to the least event and smallest need of life.”

This quote reminds me so much of our volunteers and the financial and food donors who show great care and concern for our mission by their thoughtful generosity.  When I consider their acts of generosity one by one I am quickly overwhelmed by such thanksgiving. I am moved by how great all of the supporters are to Harvest Hope Food Bank.  These gifts fill me with a conscientiousness that God does love and care for all of us.

A recently published US Census study shows SC has a population of over 4.5 million people, 18% of them living below the poverty line. This equates to 1 in 5 adults experiencing financial hardship putting  them at great risk for hunger.

When a person is hungry that is all they can think about.  All of life’s other problems are entirely too much and can’t be dealt with when one is hungry.  I see the faces outside my office window daily.  Over the last four years we have continued the highest distribution of food than ever in our 30 year history.  We are blessed with more donors than ever before, but the donations are between 50-70% less than what we have seen in years past.

Harvest Hope’s outreach embraces a diverse selection of feeding initiatives that provide essential nutrition to the hungry through church-led food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters as well as our own children’s hunger programs, senior programs, mobile food pantries and our own Emergency Food Pantries. Some of those coming to our pantries have no feeding options in their own communities and are force to travel to our Shop Road or Cayce facility from such distant areas as Williamsburg, Charlotte, Augusta, Dillon or Marion.  Can you imagine traveling these distances to find a friendly face who will show care and concern and will provide food when there is simply no place else to go?

I am so thankful for each and every person who helps to make our mission possible through their humanitarian presence as a volunteer, a food donor, or a financial donor.  This Thanksgiving as you and your family plan your special time together, can you help us assure that hungry families standing in line waiting patiently and hopefully for anything we can provide for them do not leave with empty hands?  You can honor a family member with a card showing that because their love made your holidays special in the past, you want to preserve your fond memories of that by helping another  family with a gift to fight hunger.  We make giving easy by visiting our website at www.harvesthope.org.  You can participate in a virtual food drive, make a donation, engage your company in HOPE floats with “I HOPE” cards or make an announcement during a holiday event for everyone to text message a donation.  Will you help us?

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