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Fresh Thoughts is the monthly on-line newsletter of Second Harvest

Volunteers! We Could't Do It Without You!

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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 Volunteer Month.

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 and logistics.

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.

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Thank You, Ohio National Guard!

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We are grateful for the Ohio National Guard soldiers and airmen serving with us at Second Harvest for over a year now. Just from August 2020 until January 2021, they sortedand packed 457,144 pounds of food and packed 16,276 senior and pantry boxes. Because of their help, so many families in our region got the necessary food and grocery supplies they needed. They are our colleagues, co-workers and friends. We are grateful and honored to work along side these dedicated men and women serving our community.

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Second Harvest Receives The Key

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Second Harvest was recognized for our work over the past year and presented the key to the cities of Lorain and Elyria during the State of the Cities addresses by the mayors. Seen here are Elyria Mayor Frank Whitfield, Second Harvest President & CEO Julie Chase-Morefield, Mark Ballard II, Mayor’s Liaison for the City of Elyria and Second Harvest Board Member and Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley.

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Thank You, Volunteers!

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When individual volunteers were able to come back to help out at Second Harvest and at the distributions, we met so many new friends. As a matter of fact, 92% of the volunteers working now are new. From August 2020 to January 2021, volunteers packed 30,192 shelf-stable boxes (including senior boxes and pantry boxes). These volunteers sorted and packed 891,777 pounds of food. Pictured here are Kathy L. and Don B. working at a distribution.

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A Note from Julie

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The challenges we’ve faced individually and collectively in 2020 will remain etched in our memories for a lifetime. But as the new year begins, 2021 can mark a time for the hope, the kind that comes with a new beginning. The lessons gained from 2020 are varied, but for us at Second Harvest, we believe one is the recognition of how much we need each other.

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