Aah. Spring at last! What a winter we had; thanks to all our donors, volunteers and friends who made adjustments when BCHG had to close pantries and offices for days at a time. We appreciate your patience.
BCHG is getting ready to move…our main offices, that is. Our administrative team is moving from Wrightstown to Ivyland in May! We will be moving to buildings we own which we received for FREE through the Willow Grove AFB closing. We are excited and some of us have even started packing! The offices are on Jacksonville Road so they will be much easier to find. We will miss our spot in Wrightstown though; it is a lovely part of Bucks County. Check back for information about a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony in June.
If Spring is here it means Shir Ami I Run For Food 5K to benefit the Penndel Food Pantry will be happening soon. Join us on June 1, 2014 at Washingtons Crossing Park for the 4th annual event. Sponsored and supported by Shir Ami and Wrightstown Health and Fitness. Save the date to enjoy a good run AND help your neighbors in need.
April 8th is the date of our bi-annual Volunteer/Donor Appreciation Dinner. If you received your invitation but have not RSVP’d, please do so by 3/28. About 100 folks have already responded. Should be quite the party!
It’s not always the grandest gestures that make the biggest impact.
I read that in a daily blog I receive. It made me think of Mother Teresa: “We can not all do great things but we can all do small things with great love.”
Isn’t it the small gestures that add up? At my local Wawa, (in fact any Wawa I have ever gone into) someone ALWAYS holds the door open for you. And then you return the favor. That’s the Wawa ripple effect. Small gesture but one I think about often.
I was out of sorts this morning and mentioned the fact to a colleague. She just called me back to check on me. Good news is that I got back on the right track. Better news is that my colleague cared enough to reach out. I, in turn, texted a friend who has been having back trouble- just checking in to find out she is improving. Again, those ripples of kindness.
How do you do small things with great love? Folks from the PONY National Softball Championships which were held at 41 fields throughout Lower Bucks County on the weekend of July 21, donated food to our Penndel Food Pantry. Some of the 3,250 softball players, ranging in age from 8 to 14, from 250 teams donated canned goods. Those individual donations added up to 1000 pounds of food for our very busy Penndel Food Pantry. Shannon Hopkin called us to tell us about the donation and explained that they had collected food last year but had not intended to do so this year but everyone had liked doing it so much it just happened! 1000 pounds of food just happened! That ripple of kindness will make sure hungry folks in Bucks County have food to eat.
And then there are the kind folks from the The Jake Revere Foundation. The foundation was founded with the mission to keep the memory, good deeds and positive energy of Jake Revere alive. Funds are used to assist local community groups, organizations and individuals in need here in Central Bucks County, PA, primarily children in the community who otherwise couldn’t participate in positive social and educational activities. Seven children from two of our families received grants; four youth received funds for summer camp and three youth received funds so they can participate in youth football. To those families, struggling to pay bills, this donation is a huge gift. Jake’s kindness and energy lives on. The ripple effect again.
It makes an impact alright; those smiles, open doors, caring words, a can of chili, the memory of a special young man. All of it ripples outward spreading love and kindness. And that’s pretty grand.
Some help from our friends at Harvest Group Financial Services! Thanks friends!
(from l-r: John Lindsey, Bea Tiberge and Rosemary Caligiuri)
Every year we get a call from Harvest Group Financial Services letting us know that they would like to provide support at the holidays. The team reaches out to their clients and asks them to donate food or new toys to BCHG. These kind folks bring many, many toys and pound and pounds of food to holiday events hosted by Harvest Financial. And they have been supporting BCHG since 2004 in this fashion! And every year this donation makes a big difference for folks attending our Penndel Community Toy Day. This year Harvest Financial, under the leadership of president & founder Rosemary Caligiuri, added another event to support BCHG! They hosted a paper-shredding event on June 29, 2013 for their clients and requested that they bring along food items with the documents they needed to shred. What a creative idea! Folks donated over 200 pounds of food! What a great donation and what great partners Harvest Group Financial Services are- we count on them and they make it happen!
This is what summer looks like at our Food Pantries…these shelves are normally pretty full.
You can see we need your help this summer! The good folks at PA School of The Performing Arts Spirit in Motion Ballet Theater , who are our neighbors, dropped off over 100 pounds of food including lots of peanut butter! We want to thank all the members of the PSPA Spirit in Motion for donating food! And this is not the first time they have helped-under the guidance of Terri Lee, they make sure to help out 3 or 4 times a year- now that’s some awesome neighbors! And they can dance too!
The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.”- Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet
I found this quote the other day and I have to tell you it touched my heart. And I wish I could hurry that day. What a day it would be!
But we are here now. And now it’s summertime in Bucks County! Lots of folks are enjoying hard-earned vacations. And that’s great- but at our three Community Food Pantries hunger is not taking any vacation.
“We get a little bump in the summer because kids are home all day. Families used to accessing school-based food programs now have to stretch food dollars even further.” said Kathy Schoepfer, Volunteer Coordinator at our Penndel Pantry. “And because it’s summer we see a drop in donations because donors are away. By August the shelves are pretty bare.”
We would like to encourage our community to remember to donate through the summer months. It makes a difference. If you would like to host your own food drive just click on this easy SummerNeedsFoodDrive HOW TO: Items most needed are:
- Canned meats: spam, chicken, beef stew, chili, hash
- Fruit: all types (lite)
- Juice: all types
- Baking products: flour, sugar, baking soda, oils
- Healthy Snacks
- Condiments: mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickles
- Microwaveable dinners
- Beans: all varieties
For a little incentive you can visit CHIVE CAFE in Peddlars Village- bring needed donations and receive a 10% discount on your meal! Donated food will be use at our Doylestown site.
Visit businesses on State Street in Newtown Borough on First Saturday, July 6th to drop off donations and they will make sure to get the donations to our Penndel site! Visit their Facebook page for all the details and what State Street Merchants are doing through the summer.
Do you have a garden? You can share your bounty! How sweet is that. Just contact the pantry nearest your garden and drop off your nutritious and yummy harvest for your neighbors in need.
We are so fortunate to live in a community that cares about each other. We know Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation- thanks to generous donors we can make sure our neighbors in need have food all year long!
One day there will be no more hunger- till then we have to count on each other. Thankfully, in Bucks County, we can do just that!
Bucks County Housing Group
is Moving to Ivyland!
Our administrative office staff (managers, clerical, financial, and support personnel) will be relocating from our current rented offices in Wrightstown to buildings at 1049, 1059, and 1069 Jacksonville Road, Ivyland PA! There will be about 15 people, including housing counselors who work in the office and case managers who visit people in their homes. There will be workshops for first-time homebuyers, staff training, and board meetings. Buildings may also have storage areas for donations and supplies.
Some background: After the Navy’s base closure announcements Bucks County Housing Group applied for the Ivyland surplus military property as a homeless provider, and received approval from the federal government. We have an obligation to use the property to benefit the homeless of Bucks County for 30 years. In order to move into the buildings, we are required to make them handicap accessible and add parking in the back. Recently approval was granted for federal funding to modify the buildings (ramps, handicap entrances, and bathrooms) make repairs, and add parking to the 3 buildings we will occupy.
Timeline for relocation: Probably later this year or early 2014, depending on construction schedules and funding approvals. We plan to have a ribbon-cutting and community open house. So be sure to check back- this is a celebration you will not want to miss!
Creating a “island” garden at Friendly Farms at Fountainville, a rental property owned by BCHG!
BCHG Friendly Farms at Fountainville site is two miles east of Dublin and is home to ten low-income families. The eight acre site contains has three buildings (one is a converted bank barn!) and a lot of land including a shaded landscape island, a small playground for the youngsters, and a “secret garden” for those pensive moments. This rural environment offers a farm atmosphere with the potential for many activities including a community garden. Like all of the properties owned by BCHG, volunteer TLC is necessary to keep the environment looking its best. And that is what has happened recently: three hands-on volunteer groups & a couple of donors made a big difference on the site by providing the brawn, energy and material to give Friendly Farms a good “spring clean.”
Renovated & restored playground-thanks Boy Scouts!
Michael McDermott is an Eagle Scout candidate. Eagle Scout candidates take on a particular project and then commit to doing all the work to make it happen. BCHG is grateful to have the support of the Boy Scout program. Mike’s goal was to completely refurbish the playground at Friendly Farms. Mike secured donations to refurbish the playground and in early May, he and his team repainted the playground, brought in new mulch, replaced the swings and weeded around the grounds. Result: Happy kids playing out in the fresh air! Thanks Michael McDermott & team!
Keller Williams is a real estate company committed to serving the community. They do this every day but as an organization, they have a special “Red Day” across the country to focus on giving back. The Keller Williams team from Doylestown showed up at Friendly Farms in late May with plenty of coffee, bagels, flowers, tools and energy to share! Agents painted a shed and a wrought iron fence. The team also dug in with weeding and pruning part of the island: a major task. They planted flowers along two walkways and trimmed bushes around the house. Result: Welcome improvements! Thanks Keller-Williams Doylestown!
Keller Williams Team!
And then on June 1, 30 members from Bethel – The Church at Franklin Mills and five volunteers from BCHG Milford Square got down and dirty to continue the upgrades to the property. Mike Sharkey power washed the steps and the side of the apartment building. Other volunteers finished the arduous task of weeding the island and planting flowers. Still more volunteers laid down six yards of mulch (that’s alotta mulch!) donated by Yard Oasis in Quakertown. One yard of topsoil donated by Oldcastle Lawn & Garden used to create and upgrade the many flowerbeds around the property. Oh- it was hard work alright but the Bethel team and Milford Square volunteers hung in there to complete the job. Result: Friendly Farms is shining! Thanks Bethel Team Members, Milford Square Volunteers and Community Youth Service Workers!
What’s next at Friendly Farms? We would like to get a committed team in to talk about a community garden. There is always weeding to do and planting projects in the works. Plus there are some minor repairs that need the skill of seasoned carpenter/builder. If you would like to help with these projects, please contact John Kunes our Volunteer/Project Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-529-5519 x101.
Flowers, plants, evergreens, benches, rakes, shovels, gloves.