Guest Blogger: Steve Riggs, Past President, Branch 458, National Association of Letter Carriers Oklahoma City
Pictured (left to right): Bob Bearden and Steve Riggs at the 2009 Letter Carriers Food Drive
Since the first National Association of Letters Carriers (NALC) Food Drive in 1993, the metro area Letter Carriers have collected more than 2 million pounds of food to help feed Oklahoma’s hungry. With the demand for food assistance at historic levels, we need your help this year more than ever.
Letter Carriers see the face of hunger in Oklahoma City, and across America, up close and personal every day. They deliver mail in affluent neighborhoods and where the poorest of the poor live and work, six days a week. The face of hunger is everywhere. It is not just the homeless. It is also the working parents who have to choose between buying food for their family and paying the utility bill. If children don’t eat, they can’t think; if they can’t think, they can’t learn – and that puts our nation at risk, because children are our future.
Many of the elderly in the Oklahoma City area couldn’t make it through the end of the month if it weren’t for food pantries like the Dorothy Day Center. Without extra help, the elderly often have to decide between going hungry or buying the medicine they need.
The Letter Carriers Food Drive is successful because of its simplicity. All we ask is that postal patrons leave non-perishable food items by their mailbox on Saturday, May 8th by 7 a.m. using the plastic bag that will be delivered by Letter Carriers this week. Letter carriers will pick it up and transport it to post offices where the food will be sorted and delivered to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and local food pantries. All of the food collected will stay in Oklahoma.
Our goal is to collect 700,000 pounds of food this year – and we can’t do it without your help. Every donation – no matter how small – makes a difference in the life of a hungry Oklahoman.
We encourage all the citizens of Oklahoma to remember the families, seniors and children who struggle with hunger every day. Please be as generous as you can while helping Letter Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger!” Children have more important things to think about than being hungry!
Letter Carriers are supported in their humanitarian endeavor by the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the United Way, Campbell’s Soup Company, Valpak, the AFL-CIO, Feeding America and most importantly of all, the United States Postal Service.
The Thunderbird Pioneers are a group of volunteers that worked for the Oklahoma City Western Electric Works/AT&T/Lucent Plant. They have been pumping out boxes of food for our Food for Kids program since we started it back in 2003. Since March of 2009 they have given us over 731 hours of service! We can always expect a lot of work to get done when the pioneers visit! They are an awesome group!
Michael and Linda Crawley have been coming out to the Food Bank to volunteer every Saturday for several years. Together they have volunteered over 200 hours since March of 2009! We have come to rely on their experience to help us guide, direct and supervise groups of volunteers. They have proven themselves to be invaluable to the food bank and have greatly contributed to helping us provide our volunteers with a positive and enjoyable experience!
Red Rock Behavioral Health Services employees have been helping Oklahoma communities with mental health issues since 1974. Red Rock has put in over 130 hours with us in the past year and they have been coming out to volunteer with us for a couple of years now. They always bring a smile and work hard for us every time they visit!
10:19 AM on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010No Comments
CBS’s Greatest America Dog winner Travis Brorsen and his dog Presley were a hit yesterday at the Urban Mission Kids Cafe when they stopped by for a visit! Kids Cafe is our after-school program that provides tutoring, mentoring and food to at-risk youth.
Following his win on Greatest American Dog, Brorsen developed a book and DVD series called Adventures with Travis and Presley, which helps children to improve their manners. Adventures with Travis and Presley came to life at Kids Cafe and helped to educate children on manners when the pair visited the site.
The lessons of Adventures with Travis and Presley are now being incorporated into all 16 of the Regional Food Bank’s Kids Cafe sites in central and western Oklahoma. Kids Cafe provides a safe-haven for 850 at-risk youth by providing mentoring, tutoring and food. The program has been shown to improve grades and behavior, while teaching the importance of eating healthy meals.
Check out this video feature by NewsOK about the visit!
As a part of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we’d like to take a moment to say thank you for volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma! We invite you to attend a special Volunteer Appreciation Night on Wednesday, April 21st, from 4 to 8 pm. in the Volunteer Center.
Join us for this Open House & Open Volunteering event! Staff will be on hand to welcome guests, answer questions and give tours. Snacks and beverages will also be provided.
We hope to see you there!
12:10 PM on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010No Comments
It’s National Volunteer Week! Today, we’d like to recognize Steve Hoffman, our most faithful volunteer! We rely on him each Saturday to show volunteers how we package our donated bread, and he consistently motivates people to get it done! He is an exemplary volunteer and because of him, and volunteers like him, we are able to help provide food to more than 77,000 Oklahomans in need each week!
4:29 PM on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010No Comments
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s childhood and senior hunger programs received a 12,500 pound donation of almonds from GiveBack2God, an international hunger-relief nonprofit co-founded by Oklahoma City Thunder Coach Scott Brooks.
Brooks and friend Mike Kooyma grew up in an almond-growing community in Lathrop, Calif. and worked together in the almond orchards in high school. The two were well aware of the nutritional value of the nutrient-rich snacks, which provide a good source of both vitamin E and protein; in 2009, the two co-founded GiveBack2God in an effort to fill the nutritional void that exists for many families struggling with hunger. GiveBack2God provides individual servings of healthy, nutritious almonds from Kooyma’s almond orchard to food banks and disaster-relief organizations around the world.
Big thank you to Scott Brooks as he continues his battle with the LA Lakers in the NBA finals!
11:37 AM on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010No Comments
Please join us in recognizing John Camp as our Volunteer of the Quarter! John started volunteering here over a year ago. His granddaughter helped him find the Food Bank by calling around to organizations. He comes in around 3-4 days a week for 2 hours. Often, he will bring in donuts for the staff.
He bought the Volunteer Center a paper cutter and a paper shredder with his own money because he saw a need. On most days, John can be found in the volunteer break room placing labels on bags for repacking products. He was born in the state of Washington and traveled the world with his parents until 16 years of age. They were missionaries mainly in India. He returned to the state of Oregon and graduated High School. Later he went to college and then served in the military. He is 87 years young and has been married over 60 years (don’t tell him we told you, but his birthday is on April 29th when he’ll turn 88)! He has volunteered more than 285.5 hours!! Thank you John!!
9:48 AM on Tuesday, April 20th, 20102 Comments
This week, we are recognizing our most loyal volunteers each day with the Devon Energy Volunteer Spotlight recognition.
John Watson has been volunteering with us every Tuesday and Thursday for almost two years. Since March of 2009, he has given us more than 227 hours, making him one of our dedicated individual volunteers! John works well with the groups that come in, and really takes leadership by showing volunteers how to accomplish our goals. Big thank you to John for his continued support!
The Dale Rogers Training Center (from left to right): Debbie Ladd, Rajean Walker, Tyrone Holloway, Paula Walton, Jeanna Fast and Jake Corum.
As a vocational training and employment center, the Dale Rogers Training Center has been providing service to Oklahoma businesses and charities for over 50 years! The Dale Rogers Training Center group volunteered 677 hours in the past year and put in more hours every month per person than most volunteer groups! They always work hard, bring a positive attitude and are a joy to work with! THANK YOU to Dale Rogers Training Center!!
On Saturday, May 8th you can help stamp out hunger. Simply fill a sack with nonparishible food donations and leave it by your mailbox by 7 am. Your letter carrier will do the rest. Need a reminder? RSVP for the event on Facebook!
5:29 PM on Monday, April 19th, 2010No Comments
This week is National Volunteer Week! We will be recognizing our most loyal volunteers each day with the Devon Energy Volunteer Spotlight recognition. Today, we’d like to recognize Kim Synder and her group from Devon Energy. Since March of 2009, Kim Snyder and her Devon Energy team have volunteered more than 570 hours! We are so thankful for their ongoing support! Devon Energy is dedicated to investing in the communities it touches.