When the pandemic started, I saw that people in my community were struggling. Not everyone had enough to eat. Now, I’m a single foster parent of three kids, so I keep a stocked pantry—lots of meat, vegetables, soups, that kind of stuff. I also grew up in a small community and I’ve had to live without certain things, so I know living on dried foods is tough.
So, I started going through my pantry and started dropping off care packages to people who I thought were in need. People started hearing about what I was doing and one day, someone at United Way reached out to me to ask how they could help.
I didn’t even have to think about it. I liked the organization, and I’ve seen them meet their commitments for years and years. I’ve never utilized their services myself, but I know people who have, and I know that United Way offers more than just food. They offer family, community, structure and stability.
I started out delivering goods to six homes, but with United Way’s help, I can now help make sure 23 households have enough to eat.
It was so uplifting to be able to do that, because not only did I get to help, but I also got to know the families. Some were elders, some were big families, some were single people taking care of an ill parent.
I look at communities like a domino effect—if one thing breaks down, everything else starts to crumble. We need to keep people sustained, otherwise, that’s how we lose our communities. Being able to help people is really important because you want to be able to maintain that structure of the community.