Like clockwork, each Thursday morning, Direct Service Professional, Pam Griffith, loads a van full of Hi-Hope individuals eager to travel the 5 miles to enter the “Blue Door” of Lawrenceville Church of God. They know, once inside the blue door, they are there to help provide food to some of our community’s most in need.
Since 2013, Joy Community Kitchen, a nonprofit food charity has operated to honor and serve neighbors-in-need through freshly prepared meals, home delivered meals and groceries to shut-ins, and a food pantry. Each year, Hi-Hope individuals help the organization to serve more than 1,900 families and distribute more than 20,900 pounds of frozen meats, grains, produce, and canned items.
Recently, organizational founder, Marty Donnellan, shared her thoughts on Hi-Hope’s involvement with Joy Community Kitchen.
How and when did Hi-Hope get involved?
We needed a few regular volunteers who could commit to an hour or two each week to help package up and label all of our rice and beans, which, like the chicken, is purchased in bulk. I heard about Hi-Hope from the owners of Special Kneads & Treats and decided to reach out, and the rest is history.
What do Hi-Hope volunteers do for Joy Community Kitchen?
A team of volunteers comes every Thursday, mainly to package up beans and rice and occasionally to stock our shelves with donated canned goods. It’s an important job – because by the time we close on Saturday, all of the food that has been collected and prepared will have been distributed to the needy and the shelves will once again be empty.
What impact have Hi-Hope volunteers had?
Every week, Hi-Hope volunteers process between eighty and one hundred pounds of beans or rice. Since mid-June, they’ve processed around 1,260 lbs. of food, or over half a TON! When complete, the individuals help to stock over a thousand pounds of canned goods on the shelves.
What is your impression of our volunteers?
One of the reasons the Hi-Hope connection seems like such a good fit is that I myself am mom to an amazing adult child with a developmental. I’m very much at home in the special needs world, but even if I wasn’t, I think I would still have become fond of the Hi-Hope volunteers. Every one of them is a dear and loving person with a whole lot of heart. We take time to laugh and cut up a little, yet when it’s time to get down to business they all work hard and seem genuinely proud of a job well done.
Any stand out or funny stories?
One week I was sick and had to cancel, and the following week was engulfed with heartfelt hugs and a handmade card which everyone had signed. Sweet, sweet people. They all strike me as having rich and meaningful lives, and I’m glad they have Hi-Hope to go to during the week.