29 February 2016

Working for the Mission

What did I do yesterday? I did some volunteer work for a local food mission (a.k.a. food bank, food pantry, restaurant du cœur), helping my sister, our cousin, and her son, who volunteer there on a regular basis. I'm a rank part-timer, of course, since I don't live here.


The place is called Martha's Mission Cupboard, and it was set up by a group of local churches more than 20 years ago as a way to provide food assistance to people in need. The clients are approved by the Carteret County Social Services as truly needful before they qualify for food assistance.


Martha's Mission takes cash donations from the public and from churches, and purchases a good part of the food the volunteers distribute. It also takes donations of food — canned goods, bread, bakery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. — from local supermarkets, for example, and from charities that organize food drives.


My small part in all this is to spend Sunday mornings, while I'm here, helping my cousin and sister pick up big boxes of food donated by a local supermarket called Food Lion, load them into our cars, take them to the Mission, sort everything out, and pack the perishable items into big refrigerators and freezers. (As an aside, it's interesting that the Food Lion chain, founded in North Carolina nearly 40 years ago, is now owned by a Belgian grocery company.)


Helping out on Sunday mornings is just a three- or four-hour commitment for me. My sister works at the Mission on Sundays and Mondays, and often on Fridays. She is still employed part-time as an optician the other days of the week. My cousin is actually the full-time (and volunteer) operations manager at Martha's Mission. My mother has been a volunteer there for a couple of decades, spending an afternoon or two at the Mission every week.

14 comments:

  1. What a great service this is, and how wonderful of your mother, sister, cousin, and nephew (your sister's son, or your cousin's?), and you.
    I also do not remember knowing that your sister is an optician!

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  2. My sister has been an optician for decades. She owned her own optical shop for a dozen years. Then she went to work for a company called Eye Care Center, where she gets better benefits. She's still part-time but semi-retired. The son is my cousin's; my sister has a daughter and three grand-daughters.

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  3. There is a Martha's Kitchen in Indio in SoCal. After Frank's death and before I moved out of Salton City, I gave clothing and other items to this charity. I don't know if the people there were volunteers, but they weren't very helpful to me with my donations.

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    1. Sorry that that wasn't a good experience.

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  4. When my husband died, there was no one who wanted to come to my house and pick up bags and bags of good clothing and shoes. I live in an area that is half people who are not wealthy at all and half people who own second homes or fabulous properties .. This is basically farm country close to the State Capitol and near NYC so you get some very wealthy people up here. I couldn't find anywhere to donate this clothes so they all went into a big bin in a grocery parking lot. for GoodWill.
    I hope someone is wearing one of his jackets right now, they were so nice and brand new.

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    1. I think Good Will is a good place for donations, no?

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    2. Yes, it is. They hire the handicapped too.

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  5. I hope your mom is able to get back there soon. I loved visiting the mission- it's organized better than most I've seen. Food Lion is really good to help out and owned by Belgium- who knew?

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    1. The good organization is the work of my cousin Ginger.

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  6. So kind of you to do this!

    We had Food Lion in Texas when I was growing up, last century.

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    1. It's an especially good way to enjoy spending time with my sister and cousins. We don't have to do too much heavy lifting and we chat and socialize as we work.

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  7. I think the Mission is a wonderful thing for the community. We have something similar here in my town Leeds, Alabama which provides a much needed help to some in our town.

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    1. It's a good thing. The mission here is an all-volunteer organization.

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