As the year winds down, we want to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped to make 2013 the most productive year in MAFB history. 2013 is the year we crested 20 million pounds, and this would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and organizations throughout the community.
We are so fortunate to have volunteers that dedicate themselves to helping us accomplish our mission. Our volunteers spent the year sorting and repacking food, stuffing envelopes, and sharing our mission with friends and family on social media.
The food bank is, essentially, a network of community-based partnerships with the same goal: feeding families in need. We simply could not operate without the strength and dedication of our Partner Agencies and the staff and countless volunteers who run local pantries and feeding programs. The good people at our Partner Agencies take food where it is most needed – into communities that serve some of the most needy individuals and families in the nation. They reach out to pat the backs of those we serve…when you stop and think, it truly is amazing what they dedicate themselves to doing on behalf of our neighbors in need.
We’re grateful for our warehouse crew. They pull orders, track inventory, reach deep into icy freezers…their hands are chapped, cut, and bruised but they keep going, day after day, because they know what their hard work means to families in need.
Our donors simply cannot be forgotten; whether donating food or providing financial support, MAFB relies on private donations to function. We are so thankful to everyone who gave this year. Our supporters range from individuals who send pocket change with apology letters, lamenting that they cannot do more, to large corporate donors who send tens of thousands of pounds of food or financial support through corporate foundations, and every one in between. We are also grateful for the many groups who host Fund and Food Drives on our behalf. The awareness and support these community initiatives raise is amazing!
Together, your generosity makes it possible for others to receive food that will nourish their bodies and spirits. From all of us at MAFB, thank you for an amazing year of service and kindness.
“We’re going to need a lot more milk,” said Parke Hinman, Executive Director of the Montgomery Area Food Bank.
Employees at the Food Bank were stunned Tuesday when an elderly gentleman in a red suit entered the front door to announce that a sled full of cookies was backing up to the receiving dock.
“At first, we didn’t believe him,” Hinman continued, “but sure enough we went outside to look and a huge red sled was backing right up to the dock. I tell you, I flew jets in the Air Force but I was impressed with the maneuverability of those nine reindeer.”
It took several hours for Food Bank staff to unload the burgeoning sled; by the time they were done, the facility was near capacity. The cookies are being distributed to over 330,000 families in need across 35 Alabama counties through a network of community-based Partner Agencies.
The donation was shrouded in mystery, however. When asked for his name, the man simply laughed and said “Merry Christmas!” He declined a receipt and disappeared as quickly as he arrived.
The man is described as elderly, with a flowing white beard, ample stomach, rosy cheeks and nose, and silver-rimmed reading glasses.
He wore a red suit, lined with fluffy white fur.
Another unique feature was his laugh, several staff members commented. “I find myself listening for his laugh when I’m in public. It was very distinct. ‘Ho, ho, ho’,” Brooke Ream said. “I’ll never forget it.”
Montgomery Area Food Bank is asking for your help in identifying this man. “We just want to thank him,” Hinman says, “donations like this are really needed, especially during the holiday season when families are trying to figure out how to make their time together special. We just want to let him know how much we appreciate what he did for the folks we serve.”
If you’d like to help Montgomery Area Food Bank serve more families in need this holiday season, please consider making your donation now.
‘Tis the season to be jolly. And to give.
Nonprofit organizations across the nation generate the lion’s share of their contributions during this last quarter of the year – with particular generosity exhibited at yearend, according to the DMA Nonprofit Federation.
That’s certainly true for us at Montgomery Area Food Bank (MAFB). And while we always welcome large contributions, because we’re dealing with hungry, hurting individuals and families, even the smallest yearend contribution goes a long way.
Most of us are fascinated by newspaper reports of a wealthy individual donating millions of dollars to her favorite charitable organization. We want to commend the generosity and willingness to share with those less fortunate.
But sometimes that admiration for such large gifts can leave the rest of us feeling intimidated when we pull out our own checkbooks to write a donation to our favorite charity. Will our check for $10, or maybe even less, really help anything? Do such small gifts really help charitable organizations accomplish much?
The answer is a very strong yes. While nonprofit organizations certainly appreciate gifts of millions of dollars, there's a reason why newspapers write about them — they're very rare. If a charity relied only on large gifts, it would be soon be bankrupt.
According to the DMA Nonprofit Federation, the vast majority of charitable gifts are quite small. One reason is that many people prefer to support favorite charities over time, making several donations during a year. Donors may give in response to specific appeals, or may prefer to do something throughout the year, making a small gift on a regular schedule, such as in a monthly giving program. Giving that way, usually by credit card, also makes the whole process easier and more automatic.
Of course, one reason to spread out our gifts over the year is that most of us are not millionaires. Writing one larger check might be a strain on a budget, but the cost can be more manageable if the overall donation is spread out as a series of gifts throughout the year. That's why a regular giving program, such as being a monthly donor, can help both the donor and the charity budget more easily. But even when small donations are received on a more random schedule, today's efficient charities know how to maximize the gifts' effectiveness.
Here at MAFB, every dollar donated enables us to provide more than 6 meals to local families in need. That’s well beyond anything that you can get at a grocery store, where a single can of beans or fruit can cost in excess of $1. The services we provide are absolutely critical to the health and wellbeing of more than 330,000 Alabamians who struggle to put food on the table – it’s a tremendous responsibility.
MAFB can only succeed with the help of volunteers and generous donors such as yourself.
Small gifts, of any amount, when multiplied by the millions upon millions of Americans who support our nation's charities, add up to a great deal that really does make a big difference. In fact, $316 billion of difference just last year. For MAFB, these collective donations enabled us to provide more than 20 million pounds of food to families in need last year – more than 660 tractor-trailer loads!
So when you read about a millionaire's gift, just know that by making a yearend contribution to MAFB, you're helping just as much, if not more.