Monday, December 29, 2008

The loss of Faithful Volunteers

In the last couple of months we have lost some of our most dedicated volunteers.

We first lost Valda Stowe who worked as our Friday cashier for over 20 years. She was a wonderful woman whom the clients absolutely adored. As a friend you could have no one better. No matter what the weather, Val could be depended on being there if we needed her. Her warm smile and sparkling eyes are gone from us, but God sure has gotten himself a beautiful angel! We will miss you, Val.

Within a fews days of the loss of Val we received the news that Gladys Stasinopolis had passed on. Gladys worked at the center for many years and in many capacities. She was gone before I came on the board of directors, but I have heard nothing but good about Gladys. Many times I heard about her dedication and love for the center. Her friends said that when she needed to slow down a bit, It was very hard for Gladys to give up coming to the center--she so enjoyed her time with us. I wish I had been able to meet her, perhaps I will someday. Thank you Gladys for your dedication.

The loss of Louis Hood was devastating, too. Lou donated three days a week to the center for 24 years. When he retired he wanted something to do and so began his journey with the center. Lou helped everywhere: emptying out the donation bins to their correct spots, unloading food deliveries, stacking the bread shelves and even breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling. He did whatever was asked of him. When Lou learned of his illness it didn't stop him from his volunteering. He continued to come right up until a couple weeks before he left us. I can imagine him on the other side volunteering wherever God has a place for him. We will all miss him.

Until we see you again some day. Faith E. Rockwood, President, Board of Directors

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Annual Scouting for Food brings Tons of Food to the Center

On November 15th the boy scouts in Greenfield, Turners Falls and Erving dropped off bags at residences in their towns. The group included the following scouts: Boy Scout troops 5, 7 and 10, Cub Scout pack 3, 52 and 367, Girl Scout troop 79. This year they were assisted by the Greenfield High School Student Council; Greenfield High School Key Club and YMCA Leader Club. On November 22nd they went back and picked up the bags which had donations of non-perishable foods in them. They collected throughout the day and then crated the food into specific bins (i.e., canned corn, canned beans, etc.) for pick up by the Franklin Area Survival Center truck. The results were unbelieveable. The Greenfield/Turners groups raised 4, 572 lb and the Erving groups raised 913 lb. (they also donated 1826 lb to the Orange food pantry). We then received an additional 100 lb from a group of Girl Scouts who brought food in the following Monday. We thank the scouts for their continuing support for the Franklin Area Survival Center. These youngsters show that there are plenty of them who care about the needy in their community. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

The Center Sees Tremendous Increase in Need for Food

Our food pantry has seen a steady increase as the economy falls deeper and deeper. As people are losing their jobs, parents are beginning to feel the pain of not having enough money to feed their children or pay their rent/mortgage. We have seen an increase in singles need our service as well. Times are tough and if you are in need of food and are from the Franklin County area, please come to the pantry for assistance. If you are able to help, please send a check, stop by and donate food. or even organize a food drive. We appreciate any assistance you can give. We thank you in advance for your donation.

Greenfield Savings Bank Donates Computers to Center

Greenfield Savings Bank of Greenfield, MA, donated to the Franklin Area Survival Center two computers. We thank them for their generosity!

The computers will be set up and used in the food pantry once past data is entered. Our main office has been on computer for quite a few years now, but it has been hard trying to get the food pantry up onto the network. Within the next few weeks I will work at getting the system set up for data entry.

We have a wonderful employee/volunteer, Mary Cavanaugh, who has said she will donate her time. Mary, a former board member has done a wonderful job as food distribution supervisor and we thank her for her devotion to the center.