A message from Roark Sizemore:
One thing we do well at The Pantry Plus More is we all pull together, dig in and do what needs to be done as a team. We are ALL volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds. When we had a chance at the last minute to do Thanksgiving meal boxes, everyone unanimously voted to take on what we knew would be a BIG job.
We have had a HUGE outpouring of support from this community and felt so much gratitude. I want to make sure that everyone who supports us knows where their kindness and support goes.
We’ve made a lot of home deliveries of Thanksgiving Boxes all over the county and through almost every single school, over the past week and we are still going plus we are cooking a couple of meals for families without working stove/ovens. (More common then you would ever believe.)
One family I have been taking food to for the past 6 months is a disabled grandmother and her two grandsons. Her daughter and son-in-law are hopefully temporarily lost to their addictions, one in jail and the other unknown. Yes, they are part of the drug/addiction crisis, but the CHILDREN are not to blame. The grandmother really struggles because she is disabled and has been ill. How in the hell are they surviving? How can she take care of 2 kids? But they do not have anyone else and it is clear that she loves them. I lay awake at night worrying and thinking about them and ways I can help.
I really wrestled with myself when I saw one of the boys walking during the day when he should have been in school. Being 21, I remember well not wanting to stay in school sometimes, but I stopped and made him get in my car and took him back to school. He wouldn’t speak to me (I had a taste of what it feels like to be a parent and a lot of sympathy for my mom now!) But I told him the truth. If he ever wanted to get out of the situation and have more, he had to stay in school.
You can see that they are good kids, but they are starting to look beaten. Some might say they are “bad” and angry, but what I see is that they are starting to lose hope in the world, that it feels like no one cares about them so they won’t and can’t care.
What I see is that we have to do more. We have to give of ourselves, our time and our money. We have to bring opportunity and hope. And that is what ALL of you help all of us at The Pantry Plus More to do. You make it possible for us to bring desperately needed resources directly to kids so they can know people are there for them, so they can directly have some control over their lives, so they know they won’t go hungry, so they know they won’t get in trouble for not having school supplies, so they know they have soap and deodorant, and so they know there is a place THEY (KIDS) can get new, clean clothing. These kids don’t have access to other resources including the transportation to get to them. That is why pantries INSIDE of schools are critically important.
This is one of the very important ways that we as a community can directly help. So dig a little deeper on December 3 when we bring out our GIVING TUESDAY campaign because on that day, we have a chance to have your donations matched. POWER UP your food drives at work, at your neighborhood, where you worship – ask me for a MOST NEEDED LIST. AND join us to volunteer – we have a good time together, make new connections and friends all at the same time we are LIFTING our community.
We thank you for your support and kindness today and every day.