A week ago Monday, our 4-H club held our first-ever food drive to benefit a local food pantry. I was a little anxious when the club officers planned this back in September, and even more so when they decided to hold the food drive at a grocery store. I had visions of the kids standing for hours outside the store only to collect a few cans of green beans, and I really wanted them to have a good experience. But as we made plans, things seemed to work out. I called various grocery stores and was amazed to find that the people at Super-Walmart were very friendly and easy to work with. The kids made posters to advertise our food drive, and we worked out a schedule to cover the main food entrance at Walmart for a measly three hours. We were ready.
Although it had been quite cold earlier in the month, the day of the event was warm and beautiful. The kids gathered at Walmart at their designated time and handed flyers to shoppers as they entered the store. The idea was for the shoppers to look over the items we had listed, purchase a couple of them, and return them to us as they left. It worked! The generosity of so many of the shoppers that afternoon made me regret my earlier doubts. I had been tempted to "profile" shoppers, since we had only a limited number of flyers, and in most cases, I would have been wrong. We had people of all ages, all colors, and every economic class demonstrate extraordinary generosity, placing bag upon bag of food inside our tubs. We had people pull up to the curb and hand us $5 and $10 bills because they had forgotten to purchase something. One elderly man came out with several bags of food in each hand and handed us all but one bag.
At the 4-H meeting this past Monday, we compiled all the donations. It was an incredible amount- tub after tub after tub stacked high with groceries for the Food Pantry and diapers for the Pregnancy Crisis center. The photo doesn't even begin to show all the items the kids collected. I was amazed at the generosity of the everyday people who were willing to give so abundantly at a moment's notice. The kids were happy with the results of their food drive but then, it's exactly what they expected. Their "leader", on the other hand, is still shaking her head in wonder over tubs of blessings, pressed down and overflowing.