- Cheryl Poe
Volunteers are the Best
At the time this newsletter goes to press it will have been one complete year since the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our lives so profoundly, individually and as a community caring for those in need.
One thing is certain…the Presbyterian Community Center could not have provided the services and programs this past year without the help of our dedicated volunteers. Operating during the pandemic was hard but manageable because of the devotion and flexibility of these volunteers to offer help where help was needed. One daily shift would become two or three shifts per week as these volunteers stepped up to cover any open shift, be it processing incoming food donations, stocking the pantry shelves, preparing food orders, scheduling client appointments or helping distribute food.
These volunteers do not come to PCC for recognition, in fact they shy away from it! Their fulfilment is simply in the task and time provided to help others, both PCC staff and clients. The smile on their face along with their eagerness to assist each client with respect and compassion is profoundly evident, shining brightly through their required face mask.
After such a monumental year, we want to acknowledge these volunteers; to thank each and every one for their commitment to the PCC cause. In 2020, 369 volunteers accumulated 4,019 total volunteer hours: made up of 136 individuals volunteering at PCC and 233 individuals from group events. Of these, the eleven volunteers who came weekly accumulated an astounding 1,568 hours. We truly cannot thank this group enough, but try as often as we can. A very special thanks goes to our weekly team: Mary Thornhill, Marty Saviers, Mary Dalton, Marlene Bryant, Donita Peverall, Cindy Harrison, Kay Hicks, Jim Curry, Wayne Lewis, Raina Lewis, and Carol Worley.
For our volunteers still at home, we thank you for your calls, emails and notes checking on how the PCC staff and clients are doing and what is most needed. We thank you for sounding the alert to “your people” and being our lifeline. Please know how much we miss you and look forward to seeing you when the time is right.
As happens every year and most definitely continued this year, many people are behind the scenes organizing Hunger Busters and creative food collections with their churches, organizations, businesses and neighborhoods to stock the food pantry. We thank each group for overcoming any challenges brought on by the pandemic to donate essentials to the PCC pantry. Please see the listing of donors included in these pages.
Support also comes in heartwarmingly wonderful ways. During a recent mobile food distribution in southeast Roanoke, one of the Feeding Southwest Virginia employees at the site was given the following note, “May this little money help those that need food.” The anonymous donation came from a woman who thanked the Presbyterian Community Center for helping her through difficult times in the past.
So... it is with optimism that we step toward the home stretch as our world stabilizes. Our volunteers are the BEST and our supporters generously provide for the southeast Roanoke community. With great appreciation, we thank each of you reading this newsletter for your participation in the PCC mission during this unprecedented time.