Manassas, VA – The warmth and compassion of the heart of the community was felt in their donations of non-perishable food to the tune of 567 pounds to a Hunger Project held on February, 21 in Manassas, Va. The proceeds were donated to The Northern Virginia Family Services, a project of SERVE.
The activity was held at the Giant Food Store on Sudley Road in Manassas, Virginia. Originally slated for the day prior, we discovered, upon arrival, we could not have the project because the clerk double booked. Given the choice of dates available we chose the following day. Unfortunately, some of the people who came to help on the 20th could not participate on the 21 because of prior commitments. While I was setting up the table for the donations, my husband began handing out flyers to the shoppers as they approached the food establishment. I had called the Volunteer Coordinator at NVFS to explain that our community service for he month of February is a hunger project and would they like to be the recipient. “We never refuse food.” she replied enthusiastically. When asked to choose four items, she indicated canned soup, canned meat e.g. tuna fish or chicken and peanut butter and jelly. She explained that they often prepare emergency packages for families in which they include peanut butter and jelly for the children.
As one lady made her donation, she said she appreciated what we were doing because she remembers when she had to get food from the shelter and therefore was happy to contribute. Another person who came out with several bags in a shopping cart said, “This is all yours.” As I thanked her, she responded, “I am truly blessed that is why I want to give a blessing.” Another lady explained that she could not understand why she passed the Giant store where she normally shops. While she was making her donation I explained a little about UPF-USA, she responded. “I am retired from the Federal Reserve Board and have a lot of time on my hands.” I promised to contact her. One man, who is a veteran said, “I bought a house in the area and have been looking for an organization like this.” He showed me photos of containers of toys he and his wife collected throughout the year to give to children in need.
Man Kumari Thapa, AFP, originally from Nepal came on the 20th to help with the hunger project. However, because of a prior family commitment on the 21st, was not sure if she could support us on that day. During that time, however, she heard a voice which said, “cCall Barbara.” Her husband told her you made a commitment so you should go. It was a tremendous blessing because we could not manage the items collected with just our car. Her vehicle was used to transport the 21 boxes of food to our basement since the NVFS was closed on Sunday.
The purpose of this project was not only to serve another organization but rather, to communicate the existence of UPF-USA to the public through free advertising and for later collaborating with other organizations. Consequently we now have five new contacts and are grateful for a rather inspiring day.
Contributed by: Barbara Moseley-Marks, UPF VA Executive Director