|Posted on September 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM|
The ROC Report #4
September 2, 2012
The month of August was almost entirely dedicated to getting the Totes of Hope program up and running. There are wonderful things to report.
Kim Regan (Totes Leader) and I met with school principals, counselors and teachers this month primarily to have a face-to-face contact with them so we could begin to know each other. I must say that every meeting was delightful and hopeful. Each one of them are very grateful and eager for this program to begin. Again, the River Center in New Castle is proving to be an invaluable help and resource for us. Their Totes leader brought us to their lead counselor in New Castle who was very instrumental in organizing the schools for the program and she is very willing to help the schools in Rifle get ready. However she strongly suggested that we wait to begin the program in the first week of October instead of trying to get it going with only two weeks of preparation by the first week of September. We had to admit that perhaps we were being too ambitious and that there needed to be some structures and procedures in place that would take time to do it right, so that is what we agreed to do.
Since this is a pilot program we are going to begin with just 200 totes of food per week even though there are over 1,000 children who qualify to receive them. This puts the burden of making the decision of who is the neediest of the needy on the teachers and counselors. The Food Bank people tell us that this is the way it’s done all over, however. So I asked the Food Bank about how soon we could ramp-up the numbers and help more kids. They said that when we felt like we were ready they could give us about 100 more but that, with their limited supply of food and the cost involved (it cost them $29,000 a year to do 200 totes a week!) that they didn’t see how they could do more let alone 500-600 for the elementary school in Rifle alone.
People have been asking if they could contribute money of food and if that would increase the number of totes we could fill. So I asked that question to the Food Bank. They said that they were limited on their food allotment but that we could buy non-perishable food ourselves and add more totes. We could also accept donations of non-perishable food. Well, this was good news for us. In fact the First Assembly of God Church took an offering last Sunday and their small congregation collected $800 for the Totes program! They did this on their own, I didn’t ask them to. God Bless them!! I also received an unsolicited personal check for $300 that same week for Totes. So our God, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, know how to supply our need before we even ask!
We will still begin in Oct. with the pilot program of 200 but, after we see how the school organization and our own tote-packing program is working and how many volunteers we get, we will begin to ramp up. Also, after our 501 c 3 gets here (please pray for that to come soon; we’ve waited 2 month now) the plan is to go the local grocery outlets in Rifle and give them the opportunity to feed these kids on the weekends by making monthly contributions of non-perishable food to The ROC; or at least give us substantial discounts to buy food.
The ROC is having a Volunteer Fair at the Rifle Library on September 11. Team leaders will man tables to give information and to sign people up to volunteer for one of the five teams. I made a color brochure to put up around town and sent it to Jean’s Printing in Rifle to have 50 of them copied (watching our general operating budget which is just at $300 now). When I went to pick them up and pay for them, on the package she had written “No charge.” I said, What? Jean said, “It’s about time someone did something like this in this town. I want to support it.” So that was wonderful and encouraging. And there weren’t 50, she had printed up 100! Thank you Jean’s Printing! I took the brochures to a community volunteer who had said they would help distribute them in town so she is doing that this week. Thank you Scarlette!
Next Sunday, September 9, ROC Volunteers will be painting a house for a 70 year old blind lady in Rifle. She was a nurse for many years in the community and needs this done. She also has lots of weeds in her yard we are going to take care of. We have volunteers coming from Alpine Bank in Rifle and also from the Rifle High School Football team, The Bears. I sent an article to the Rifle Citizen Telegram about that and the volunteer fair. The editor called me and said that they would print it and run the brochure on the page facing it next Thursday. They will send a photographer out on Sunday for the house painting project.
Check out the website at www.reach-out-colorado.org. I have added a “Volunteer On Line” segment. Also if you register to be a member of The ROC and click on “subscribe via RSS” on the members page, you will receive automatic updates to the site when I make them. Thank you for your prayers and words and gifts of support for us. Jeanne and I, and the whole ROC Board are blessed by you. Let all work together to help each other and get the job done!