Dianne Williams our Chief Programs Officer relayed a story last week that touched my heart. The Arkansas Foodbank staff was at Vilonia handing out disaster relief boxes when a lady pulled up in the parking lot. She stopped the pickup in front of the Arkansas Foodbank truck and got out surveying the people in the parking lot. Dianne acknowledged her and asked if she could help her as she was obviously exhausted and sad. The lady replied they needed help, and she didn’t know how to ask for it. Dianne told her that she did not have to ask; that is what we were there for – to help her and her family. The lady gave Dianne a long hard hug. Foodbank staff loaded her pickup with food, and encouraged her to go into the building to talk with the people from various agencies that were there to help as part of the Red Cross relief site. She hesitated, saying she did not know how to ask for help. Dianne responded that she imagined she had helped others before the tornado and that she would help others again after she got back on her feet. This was her turn now to need help and that was okay because we all need help at some time.
She was still uncertain about going in to the Red Cross relief site, so Dianne asked if she could go with her. She said, “Please”. They walked in together and soon the Red Cross volunteers made her feel welcome and more comfortable. After a while, the lady came out of the building with a volunteer, and walked to her pickup. Dianne asked her if she was okay and the lady hugged her and said, “We’re going to be okay now.” The Arkansas Foodbank was able to supply the lady with a truck bed full of food and water and a little more hope.
Overall this past month has served as a reminder to me of why I am in this business. We never know when life will change and how we will handle it when it does. I am a strong believer that God placed us on the earth to share of ourselves and our resources to help those in need. There have been times in my life when I could give and there have been times in my life when I needed to receive. The events that change our station in life can occur within minutes so I hope to take advantage of giving while I can and when I do need help I pray I am all grateful and gracious in receiving. Obviously, my work at the Foodbank is more than just a job. It is a purpose and ministry in my life and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I hope you too enjoy being a part of providing hope and compassion to so many people.
- Rhonda Sanders
CEO Arkansas Foodbank
With your help, we have received over 250,000 pounds of food and water to be given to disaster survivors. The Arkansas Foodbank was able to create over 2,100 Disaster Relief Boxes.
Of those, we have distributed over 1,200 on several trips to the affected areas.
We will continue to distribute those boxes and other goods, as long as the need is present.