Honoring Lives Lost in Tragedy

Jan 07
Jennifer Gulley, Senior Director
Dungarvin Ohio
Completed Mid-Ohio Food Care Packages

On December 20, 2006, a tragedy occurred when a fire broke out at one of the homes in Columbus, Ohio.

One of our valued direct service professionals, Peggy Porter, attempted to extinguish the fire and rescue the individuals receiving supports in the home, Tony B. and John C. All three were overcome by the heavy smoke. Tragically, the fire claimed the lives of Peggy and Tony. John was severely injured in the fire, but subsequently recovered. Every year since that terrible tragedy, Dungarvin Ohio celebrates and honors the memory of Peggy and Tony by holding a food drive in December.

Each year, our team sets a goal to exceed the previous year’s donations. We try to come up with new and exciting ways to motivate ourselves to give a little bit more than we gave the previous year. In December 2011, we raised $783 and collected 723 pounds of food. In December 2012, we raised $907 and collected 714 pounds of food.

For 2013, we decided to try something new. Rather than collect food, we focused all of our energy on raising money and decided to donate something just as valuable…our time. Although Mother Nature attempted to thwart our efforts by delivering a snow storm and causing all of the local schools to close, many members of the Ohio team, along with two NCO employees, braved the weather and headed to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank warehouse.

Working Hard!

Dungarvin and other volunteers working hard at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Jeff & Cathy building boxes

Jeff Sloat, Director and Cathy Rathburn, Special Projects Director, building boxes at the beginning of the assembly line.

Our volunteer group was assigned the task of making “care packages” for senior citizens in need. Along with a few volunteers from other organizations, we worked in an assembly line form, making boxes, packing them with non-perishable food items, sealing and then stacking the boxes. In just over two hours, we made and packed 565 “care packages”. As the volunteer coordinator at the food bank told us at the end of our shift, “565 seniors across the region get to eat because of your efforts here today.”

Lisa Fannin, Director packing Juices

Lisa Fannin, Director, packing juice bottles into the care packages.

Adding Fruits

Crissy Hilgendorff, Program Director, ready to add cans of fruit to the care packages.

Ready to Add Veggies!

Adrienne Kennedy, Program Director, ready to add vegetables to the care packages.

Cleaning Up as We Go

Emily Joehlin, Program Director, breaking down empty food boxes.

Clean Up

Eilene Adkins, HR Specialist, breaking down empty food boxes.

Jennifer Gulley, Senior Director

Jennifer Gulley, Senior Director and Lori A., volunteer, ready to seal completed care packages.

Completed Mid-Ohio Food Care Packages

Care packages ready to be distributed to senior citizens in need.

In addition, we were thrilled this year to deliver cash and checks to the Food Bank totaling $1,205! The Mid-Ohio Food Bank can purchase $11.00 worth of food for every dollar donated. It is exciting to know that our donation of $1,205 equated to $13,255 worth of food for additional people with needs in our region.

On that day, we left feeling like we had not only accomplished something wonderful, but that we proudly honored Peggy’s and Tony’s memories.

Ohio Team at Mid-Ohio Foodbank

The Ohio team at the end of the volunteer shift at Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

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