Sonny Pinckard: Volunteers are blessings; more needed

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Back in June, I turned 80 years old. And there have been many days this summer that I wish the temperature would drop to 80 degrees. Generally, by mid-morning the temperature in the food pantry is already above 80 degrees. It takes dedicated volunteers to work in the heat, but as I have said more than once, I think that we have the best volunteers of any volunteer organization. I know it is not long until winter will be here and we will face cold weather. But, as many people talk about the hot weather, only a few people talk about the cold. They say you can put on enough clothes to be warm, but you cannot take off enough clothes to be cool. Everyone works very hard at the food pantry whether the temperature is hot or cold.
We have been blessed in recent months, because in addition to the food items our clients usually receive, we have had deliveries from Tyson Foods and have been able to give out Jimmy Dean Breakfast Meals as well as 8- to 10-pound packages of chicken. Recently, we have begun to pick up food from Harvey’s supermarket. This has enabled us to give our clients a number of other special items such as frozen pies, pizzas, and ice cream.
We are always looking for a few more dedicated volunteers who are willing to work through all kinds of weather, We have recently lost two very dedicated volunteers. John and Evelyn Maclutsky came as volunteers at Koinonia for a year. Even though they volunteered for one year at Koinonia, John volunteered at Harvest of Hope almost every Monday and Tuesday. His wife Evelyn volunteered as time permitted. Recently their time at Koinonia ended and they have moved back to New Jersey where they are planning to volunteer with another group.
The second dedicated volunteer is James Shutters. James has been a volunteer at Harvest of Hope for at least three years. James just graduated from high school and is entering South Georgia Technical College. James has worked at the food pantry during summer months as well as all holidays. But while school was in session, James worked at the food pantry from 7 until 7:40 a.m. almost every Monday and Tuesday before heading off to school. James did so much heavy lifting for me. He is a blessing to me.
I am going to miss John and Evelyn and James. On the positive side, James will still be able to work with us on holidays and perhaps during the summer. We have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for James.
The Baptist Collegiate Ministry young people have been a blessing to me over the years. They come once a month to move pallets of food to the back that we have been distributing that month and moving to the front pallets of food that we will be distributing during the next month. And they are willing to do anything else that needs to be done. It is such a blessing to see young people giving of their time and energy in service.
We need volunteers. If you would like to join our work, come to the food pantry between 7:15 and 9 p.m. on Monday or between 7 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
We want to thank each of you who have made donations of any kind to Harvest of Hope Food Pantry. You have been a blessing to so many people of Sumter County. Each week we have a large number of people who say thank you: “You are a blessing.” “We appreciate what we receive.” “God bless you.” Or a simple “Thank you.” In reality they do not know who you are, so they are saying these things to you through us. We thank you, for them.
As you have supported Harvest of Hope Food Pantry in the past, we pray that you will continue to support us in the future. We invite each of you to come and visit the food pantry. In reality, Harvest of Hope Food Pantry belongs to each of you who have made any type of contribution to its success. We thank each of you for allowing us to serve in your name.
God bless!

Sonny Pinckard is executive director Harvest of Hope Food Pantry, Americus.