Do opposites attract? For Jack and Kitty Williams, that certainly seems true. The couple has been married for 50 years. When asked for two words to describe themselves, Jack was “slow and steady” and Kitty was “fast and furious.” Although these descriptions sound opposing, their complementary tendencies are the perfect combination to keep the Williams involved in their communities.
For more than 50 years, Feeding America food banks have been providing meals to neighbors in need and working to raise awareness about hunger. Yet it wasn’t until the pandemic, when so many lost their jobs, that hunger became a top issue for America: the government held a conference to address it, food banks topped charity lists for the first time, and need for food assistance spiked across the country.
When you work with a hunger relief organization, you see the devastating effects food insecurity takes on individuals and communities every day, and it’s heartbreaking.
The goal isn’t only to feed the neighbors in need that come to us – it is to feed every neighbor in need including the ones that can’t get to us. It is a challenge that needs innovative solutions. How do you identify where the needs are? How do you make the greatest impact on people and communities? Sometimes, the answer is to collaborate with other charitable organizations.
“When the senior center told us they were closing because of COVID, it was a bad day,” shared Daniel in Greenfield, MO. He’s a retiree that visits the Dade County Senior Center every weekday for lunch and a game of dominoes.
If you, or someone you love, are looking for ways to make a difference for future generations, Ozarks Food Harvest offers planned giving opportunities. A planned gift allows you to extend your charitable giving beyond your lifetime and make a difference for families like Ricky and Natalie’s.
West Plains First Baptist Church is fully engaged in sharing hope with its community. They have a number of community outreach programs to help neighbors in need in Howell County, including a food pantry that serves about 600 people a month.
Mary Keidle makes the most of her retirement – hiking, kayaking, fishing, woodworking, gardening, playing the hand bells at church, and enjoying hot air balloon rides. She even learned the Japanese art form of kintsugi during her retirement. Kintsugi is the beautiful practice of restoring broken pottery with precious metals, making it more attractive than it was originally.
“We had a family with three children coming in for the sack lunches we provide every afternoon. The father had lost his job during COVID, so they were all living in his pick-up truck with a camper shell. They came in for the meal, but we connected them with some resources. We helped them find housing and work.” That was the moment when Sheila Planer realized her work with Center City Christian Outreach was making a difference.