I wanted to write this week’s article on Volunteerism. A heartfelt THANK YOU is extended to every one of our selfless volunteers, who help in so many ways to feed the food insecure residents of Whitehall and Coplay. I also want to thank the volunteers, who are not normally scheduled for distribution days, who helped while others were on vacation this summer. With everyone’s time and talents, our WCHI volunteers are feeding almost 1,000 residents a month. As our Pantry guest attendance continues to grow, we truly need many more volunteers to help WCHI both behind the scenes and during pantry day distributions.
There are a lot of behind-the-scenes activities that occur throughout the month i.e. 1. ordering and picking up food from Second Harvest Food Bank; 2. Purchasing food and toiletries from several local stores; 3. Loading our vehicles with the products and bringing them back to the Pantry; 4. These items then get carried by hand into the pantry and put on rolling racks and sent to their dedicated areas in the Pantry; 5. These items are loaded onto skids or rolling racks and marked State and USDA Food or general donations from the public; 6. Then the inventory is stocked on appropriate racks for our Pantry guests to choose from during distribution days.
On distribution days, our volunteers do specific jobs including: 1. Welcoming our guests as they arrive; 2. Registering our guests; 3. Shopping with our guests throughout the Pantry; 4. Providing fresh produce from our WCHI Garden; along with any produce available from both Second Harvest Food Bank and grown by Whitehall and Coplay residents in their personal gardens; 5. Providing dog and cat food when available; and 6. Unloading the bagged or boxed items from our shopping carts into our guests’ cars.
WCHI is extremely fortunate to have dedicated volunteers. Some are retired; some work and help when they can; and others work during the day and hep in the evening on distribution days. We have teachers and others from several school districts, that help us over the summer while school is closed. Several volunteers are students aged 12-17. And some of our pantry guests are working on their clearances to help us, too.
“Volunteering is important for many reasons including stress reduction, combating depression and providing a sense of purpose. It offers essential help to worthwhile causes, people in need, and the wider community. Volunteerism is also important because it helps eliminate poverty and improve basic health and education.” Calvin Holbrook https://tinyurl.com/5dyk8xsu
WCHI is a 100% volunteer based 501c3 Non -Profit Charity. No one receives a salary. Can you or someone you know volunteer with us? You will love your fellow volunteers.
Because we do work with children, we are all required by the State to obtain full child abuse clearances. Please go to https://tinyurl.com/32cndjdw to find out more. Do not let the list intimidate you. Many are read and sign forms. We do reimburse for fingerprinting. I have completed the clearances in less than two weeks, and I have a full-time job. There is no time frame limit for completion, but all clearances must be received so we can email you volunteer opportunities. Once we have everything, the clearances are good for five years. Students, 12-17 years old, just need to read and sign a code of conduct form and a WCHI form signed by a parent. WCHI does have school clubs help us and individual students also. We do sign school forms for community service hours. Please email, Sylvia Lee, our Volunteer Chair at Volunteerme.Lee@gmail.com with any questions you may have.
WCHI needs the following food items: Any kind of boxed pasta; macaroni and cheese; chicken noodle, tomato, and vegetable soups; and low salt canned mixed vegetables. Fresh Produce is also appreciated from your personal gardens. These items can be dropped or shipped to Shari Noctor, Re/Max Unlimited, 1080 Schadt Ave, Whitehall, PA 18052. My office is open for deliveries Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm and is closed on the weekends.
Thank you and have a great week!!