The Times West Virginian

February 13, 2014

Community members open hearts, wallets for Gift of Love

Times West Virginian

— We’re not exactly sure that we could ever express how much gratitude we feel to the community of Marion County, but we’ll try.

Thank you.

No, really, thank you.

Without you, the Times West Virginian’s Gift of Love food drive would not have been possible.

To the school children who brought in canned goods and challenged other homerooms to collect more, thank you.

To the employees who brought in nonperishable food items so they could wear jeans to work on Fridays, thank you.

To the families who added a few more items to their weekly grocery lists to bring in for the drive, thank you.

To those who took it upon themselves to spend several hundred dollars to purchase food in bulk to add to the many, many pallets of food collected, thank you.

To those who organized mini food drives in their offices and community buildings, thank you.

To those businesses and civic and community organizations who made large donations to help us meet our financial goal of $13,000, thank you.

To each and every one of our readers who donated what they could spare to help families in need all over Marion County, thank you.

Next week, the staff of the Times West Virginian will take a box truck to the Save-A-Lot store in White Hall and load it up with food ordered especially for this drive. We’ll likely have to make more than one trip. Then the newspaper staff, with volunteers from each department, will carefully divide the food between the 12 pantries that benefit from the drive.

Next Thursday will be distribution day, when volunteers from each of the pantries come at their allotted times and load their vehicles with donations. In the early days of the food drive, a back of a pickup truck used to be able to haul the donations. These days, the pantries usually send more than one vehicle. It’s a joyful day for us, as we get to hear from the people who work directly with those who will receive the donations of food and begin to understand just how much of an impact this drive will have.

We’ve already begun to hear the stories of bare shelves at these local pantries, which is why it warms our hearts to do what we can to help fill them.

But we couldn’t do it without you. Really.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, we met our goal of $13,000. By the end of the work day, we had exceeded it by more than $1,000.

We start the day with $14,087 to spend at Save-A-Lot next week. And we know more money will trickle in as we finish up this week.

This community understands the greatest love of all — love for your brothers and sisters of your community. Knowing that our brothers and sisters are in need, you opened your hearts and wallets and gave what you could to help make it through this cold, bitter winter.

Thank you.

And we have one more thank you that we cannot miss. To all the volunteers at the food pantries across Marion County, thank you for the work you do all year long, day in and day out. We hope these donations make your job that much easier, and we’ll be in touch soon to let you know when to come get it.