Phil Simmons, Director of Community Development
September 28, 2023
The last few days were filled with demonstrations of God's provision, your generosity, and community spirit.
Friday: A Bounty of Strawberries and Community Support
The weekend kicked off with a delightful surprise—a truckload of strawberries! Ten pallets, over 12,000 pounds of these juicy red gems arrived, thanks to the efforts of dedicated individuals.
After loading up the pantry, we called Eat Greater Des Moines, and their incredible network sprang into action. Volunteers from various organizations rallied to help distribute this generous strawberry donation to those in need.
While I couldn't confirm the exact number of organizations that benefited from this strawberry windfall, this spontaneous act of kindness made a significant impact. A special shout-out goes to Windy for her forklift skills and Robert for his unwavering dedication to minimizing food waste in our community.
Saturday: Heart for Hazel, Life 107.1, and Community Unity
Saturday brought another wave of compassion and support to Des Moines. Heart for Hazel, a non-profit dedicated to helping families dealing with Sudden Unexpected Death in a Child (SUDC), dropped off a food drive in memory of their late daughter Hazel. Over 700 pounds of food poured in, a testament to the enduring love and care within our community for Hazel and those experiencing food insecurity.
But the generosity didn't stop there. Life 107.1 hosted a concert, and attendees showed tremendous generosity by donating close to 900 pounds of both food and personal hygiene items. We want to give Lynn and Amy Skarin a massive shout-out for their dedication to making this event a success.
Additionally, over the weekend, more than 300 pounds of fresh produce were donated from local gardeners or lovingly harvested from Caring Hands Gardens. It's incredible to witness the unity and determination of our community to tackle food insecurity.
Sunday: Organizing for a Purpose
Our volunteer pantry leaders organized the pantry on Sunday, ensuring everything was in tip-top shape to facilitate the usual Monday food rescue. Their dedication is a testament to Caring Hands' ongoing commitment to serve our neighbors.
Monday: A Community in Action
Monday morning saw an inspiring display of community action. At 10 AM, an army of homeschool co-op members descended upon the garden and food pantry, rolling up their sleeves to work on various tasks. They diligently checked expiration dates, restocked shelves, and ensured everything was ready to welcome our neighbors at noon.
But that wasn't all for Monday. A special radio interview featuring Phil, conducted by Rajan from Pulse 101.7, brought attention to God's incredible work through Caring Hands Outreach Center. It's fantastic to see our mission gaining recognition and support through media outreach.
Last weekend was a shining example of the power of God's provision and our community's compassion. The collective efforts of Windy, Robert, Heart for Hazel, Life 107.1, our pantry leaders, Pulse 101.7, and the homeschool co-op showcased the incredible impact we can have when we come together for a common cause.
I'm immensely proud to be part of this community and Caring Hands Outreach Center. Together, we're making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors, one act of kindness at a time, in the powerful name of Jesus.