Surviving 2020? It would not be possible without volunteers.
Sometimes it seems like everything being said about the role
of volunteers at nonprofits is cliché, but...it is true. Without
volunteers donating their time and passion to our cause, we could
not get food into the hands of children, seniors, and families.
Volunteers make it happen. That’s why every April, we take the
time to celebrate our extraordinary volunteers during National
Every month, Charles Bragg comes to Second Harvest to pick
up a food box for himself and his ex-wife Anita. They have both
been enrolled in the program for just under three years after
finding information during an internet search for food resources
to help supplement what they were able to afford. Due to Anita’s
declining health and medical bills, the couple needed extra
support to make ends meet.
Mr. Bragg is originally from West Virginia and relocated to Ohio
as a young man. He found work at the Quarry, Lorain Ford Plant
and Admiral King High School. Anita worked for the welfare
office prior to her health declining. Both are active in their church
where they have found support and resources to help them
through tough times. COVID-19 has taken a toll on them, leaving
them separated from the emotional and physical support the
church provided, yet Charles is optimistic for the future. Charles
is looking forward to getting back to normal activities and helping
his church family out where he can.
The senior boxes Charles and Anita receive provide staples
to meet their nutritional needs each month. A hearty bowl
of macaroni and cheese is the first thing he fixes for the
couple, followed by soup and toasted cheese sandwiches.
SPOTLIGHT: Mr. Charles Bragg
enjoys the 1%
for his cereal and
he says is “easier
on his stomach
and doesn’t go
bad”. A lover of
is grateful to
receive this in the
box. His one request would be to have some different
options to enjoy. “This,” he says, “would be a nice
At 73, Mr. Bragg is one of our few senior citizens able
to drive to pick up what he refers to as an ‘essential’
benefit for himself and Anita. He was grateful for the
times the Ohio National Guard and staff delivered the
food boxes, especially when they were told to remain
at home. He explained how highly he thought of the
National Guard as his own son serves in the Tennessee
National Guard. From the bottom of his heart, he
thanks everyone very much.
In 2020, the rule book of who, what, when, and where
for volunteers was rewritten for Second Harvest. With the
shut-down order due to COVID-19 in March 2020, we
transitioned away from our traditional way of operating
to no-touch, drive through distributions. Our building
was closed to the public and that meant that our beloved
volunteers were not on property to sort and box food. We
would not see most of our regular volunteers again until
August when we opened up a few spots at our Mobile
Pantry distributions and then back at Second Harvest
filling distribution boxes.
To handle the high demand, Second Harvest was
very fortunate to have the assistance throughout,
of the Ohio National Guard in our building and out
at distributions. In our warehouse, they have been
packing boxes and helping with warehouse inventory
In 2020 and now into 2021, our volunteers include
our tried-n-true friends, new friends, the Ohio National
Guard, local police departments, Lorain Auxiliary Police
Department, Sheriff Departments, State Highway
Patrol, City of Elyria and Lorain employees, local
youth workforce participants, community crafters
and seamstresses (who stepped up with their talents
in making and donating cloth masks), and those who
reached out to send us messages of encouragement
and good cheer during the height of the pandemic. Each
volunteer fulfilled a very important task at just the time
we needed the help.
To all, we offer you a humble, heartfelt THANK YOU.
Help grow hope. Receive our email updates.