So, I know everyone is trying to do what they should. Whether that be social distancing, wearing masks, washing their hands, doing what they can, helping their family and those with health conditions. It’s terrific to see people do all of this (and more) including shopping for those in need who have to shelter in place.
Many are still called to do the essential things. Whether it’s a health care worker, or other essential services such as food supply, delivery, electric, gas, plumbing, water and so many others.
But one that is especially close to my heart, is food pantries. I know my father has been helping for years at the Pendleton food pantry and at St. Luke’s Mission Of Mercy. Following in my father‘s footsteps, for the last little bit, I’ve had the chance to help out with the salvation army of the Tonawanda’s to a small degree.
All these places are seeing more people in need than ever before.
The Salvation Army of the Tonawanda‘s has always been supplying to those in need, on a daily and weekly basis. They have regular senior and youth programs, as well as the feeding of those at risk.
Currently, many of the regular programs are suspended because of COVID-19, but, they are now, seven days a week, trying to meet a growing need of the community regarding basic food supplies for themselves and their families.
The Salvation Army meets physical needs, but just as importantly, they meet people’s spiritual and emotional needs. Major Nkownkou, and his wife Major Stephanie, are so open, and welcoming, and giving, that those who come, find all these things. They are not superheroes, but they do what they can, and darn it; it’s a lot!
The few times I’ve been able to help, I am amazed at the intense workload, and furious pace they have to keep up to be ready each day to serve their clientele when they come. My kids have also helped out in the processing of food, and are neigh exhausted at the end of a shift. I mention all of this, in part, because these people do this every day, and with little in the way of paid support.
Although they do have some amazing volunteers, who make it work, it is not easy.
I know also that the funding has dried up in the past few years, and while the need seems to be increasing, the support is reduced.
So, my reason for pointing out this amazing, faithful work, is not just to give thanks to those people who earned my respect daily, but to also point out their genuine need for support.
Their need for some funding to make up for what’s been lost over the past few years looms large.
Perhaps, you can’t help as a volunteer, but perhaps, on some level, you could commit a small amount of money to meet the needs of those in temporary, or ongoing need in our communities. If you could do a one-time donation or would consider a monthly or yearly donation, you could be part of meeting those very real needs that our neighbors in Western New York have.
Also, I want to point out that Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and others, regularly take their time and resources to donate foods, that make this work possible. So, thank you to those worthy businesses.
As an aside, after my son Nathan finished his homework today, we were able to do a road trip to Syracuse to do a pick up for food at the main terminal. Nate made me proud, to be willing to, as he put it, ”do the work that needed doing”.
So that’s all for now. Thanks for listening; and, please consider if you may be able to help ?
Steven Rott, General Manager