The AmeriCorps I CAN food drive carried on during March 1-15 was a rousing success. The weigh in Friday at Second Harvest in Tallahassee revealed the extraordinary efforts of all involved with a total of over 3,000 pounds of nonperishable food items collected over the two week effort. Goodwill CEO Fred Shelfer kicked off the the weigh-in event emphasizing the continuing commitment Goodwill Industries Big Bend has to the broader efforts of removing barriers to economically disadvantaged people in the Florida big bend area. A tour of Second Harvest’s impressive facility was followed by all AmeriCorps members sorting the collected food into various food types. During this time Goodwill GoodWorks member Naomi Nash was interviewed by the local TV station. After our time there, all members participated in a civic reflection held at Big Bend Community Based Care. Such civic reflections always bring deeper meaning to the exercise of helping others.
Volunteer Florida sponsored the two week drive and weigh-in event as a way of emphasizing AmeriCorp’s commitment to service in honor of AmeriCorps week March 9-15. There were many groups participating from the various AmeriCorps Programs around the Tallahassee area.
AmeriCorps Goodwill GoodWorks! Director John Shaffer reminded participants that the Goodwill’ effort is an ongoing, long term commitment to the collection of food items, pointing out that while the Tallahassee area Goodwill stores have been collecting for Second Harvest for some time, the effort in Panama City utilized the AmeriCorps Week initiative to kick off a new long term collection drive for the benefit of Catholic Charities.
During the event, Shaffer reported from the many Goodwill Goodworks! Programs in the six county area.
In Chipley, the Manager of the Chipley Career Training Center (CTC), Carole Richards and her AmeriCorps member Carly Galbreath had taken the initiative to “keep it local”. They partnered with Piggly Wiggly, local schools, retailers, and local shop owners for the benefit of Care and Share Food Pantry. Starting from scratch, their efforts produced 1,019 pounds of food collected! They deserve a prize for biggest per capita collection!
Two AmeriCorps members Aprille Lawson and Connie Chason left their Marianna CTC Manager Mary Almand in the office for the day, picking up the last of their food collection in order that it could be weighed at the Second Harvest site. They drove their personal cars to the pick up sites, collected the food, and drove nearly 100 miles in time to be weighed in. The two of them alone brought nearly 100 pounds to the Tallahassee effort.
In the meantime, a weigh in was held at the Springfield Goodwill Store just after the Tallahassee weigh in. The Goodwill Transportation group led by Marcus managed to bring together over 500 pounds of food from the dozen Goodwill retail stores in the Panama City area.
A big thank you to all who participated, including Paul Hogg’s Transportation group in the Tallahassee area, who in the normal course of their duties distributed Second Harvest collection barrels and then made the rounds to fourteen Goodwill retail stores, bringing the collected food to the weigh in site. It should be noted that the final tally will be
announced Monday after Paul and his troops have had time to pick up the last of the two week collection from the more remote Goodwill retail collection sites.