THE APPLE BASKET

COVID Brought Both Agony and Opportunity | June 2021
Talented Techie A Find for Us  | June 2021
Sneak Preview Coming Soon  | June 2021

We Want You | June 2021
Facebook Fundraise For Us | June 2021

JUNE 2021

COVID Brought Both Agony and Opportunity

 SFB-CRC did not escape any of the pain of the pandemic. We continue to mourn the loss of two of our cherished volunteers, Liz Wright and Larry Layton. We were forced to make the difficult decision to send our volunteers away for everyone’s protection while we struggled to find ways to continue to provide food for those in need in our community.

 

We had to suspend plans for Community Resource Center programs, and we scrambled to completely redesign the food distribution operation almost overnight. COVID prompted construction costs on the new building to dramatically increase because of raw material shortages, transportation challenges, and other factors.

 

Even so, we were blessed during the crisis with a tremendous response from the community—as well as government entities—that reaffirmed our faith that the human spirit can shine through the darkest days when you live in a place where people really care about each other. Donations, grants, food drives, and individual non-perishable contributions helped to ensure that SFB-CRC was still able to feed hundreds of our most vulnerable residents each week.

 

In addition, with the CARES Act of last year and subsequent funding, Pima County’s Workforce Community and Development Department, now led by Dan Sullivan, prioritized the completion of specific capital projects designed to make a critical contribution to the needs of the community in the coming years.

 

Two contracts with the county allow us to purchase equipment that is essential to SFB-CRC’s dual mission—to provide food, of course, but also to forge ahead with our workforce development programs and classes through our new resource center. These COVID dollars will significantly support the recovery in Sahuarita and Green Valley from the pandemic by helping transform the lives of many who need us the most. 

 

In the face of often overwhelming sadness and anxiety, the people and their local leaders have sent us a message that we cannot take for granted—that they will always have our backs.

 SFB-CRC is fortunate to attract amazing volunteers. They bring skills and experience beyond anyone’s expectations.

 

Leslie DeGrassi is our webmaster, a self-taught technology expert with a big heart. She also designs invitations and funding letters for us. The granddaughter of homesteading Marana melon and lettuce farmers, Leslie returned to her roots in Southern Arizona after retiring in 2012 from her job as a meeting planning manager for an IT association in Colorado, where she also worked closely with the webmaster as the “steward of the content.”

 

An Air Force pilot’s daughter, she was born in Flagstaff and lived in Vienna and many other places until her father was transferred to Davis-Monthan in Tucson, where she attended U of A. She married an oil company employee, and that took her family to Egypt in the 70’s during an Arab-Israeli conflict where she continued to raise their three children.

Talented Techie A Find For Us

She eventually returned to college at Colorado University in Boulder where she met her second husband Larry Worster. “He looked kind of interesting,” she said. They have been married for 30 years now. Music lovers around here know him as a bandleader and organizer of Green Valley’s Got Talent. 

 

Leslie isn’t new to volunteering. She started in high school, and was once the executive director of the Bach Festival in Boulder. She says the SFB-CRC Board is the “best I’ve ever been on,” and asserts it has allowed her to “acknowledge my creative side.” 

 

“I never thought of myself as creative before. I’m inspired by hearing what volunteers and staff say about clients, and by our executive director Carlos, who has both a giving heart and a can-do attitude.”

 

“I am so grateful,” said Board President Penny Pestle, “that Leslie is sharing that creativity with us as she supports the important work of the SFB-CRC.”

Sneak Preview Coming Soon

Keep an eye out for the announcement in early August, as SFB-CRC’s donors and friends will be able to take a first-hand look at the progress of the new building. It’s also a chance to meet and ask questions of Kevin Morrissey, owner of MWMorrissey, our general contractor, site supervisor Gene Swayngim, architect Liz Farkas from Poster Mirto McDonald, and Dennis St. John, our pro bono project manager. 

 

The framing is well on its way and most of the utility lines are installed. Morrissey continues to impress the Board with their ingenuity and commitment to the project in the face of material shortages, huge price increases, and shipping delays.

 

“You and your team,” Board Secretary/Treasurer Jackie Smith said to them, “are magicians, and we are so fortunate to be working with you.”

We are excited about the opportunity to provide you with a close look at what a difference your generosity and support have made so far, so we look forward to seeing you later this summer.

We Want You

 As the new building gets closer to completion, SFB-CRC will need more and different types of volunteer help. We would love to have you join our team. 

 

Our volunteers are the backbone of the organization. They contribute about 22,000 hours per year, the equivalent of 11 full-time employees! All volunteers are trained to make sure they feel comfortable with their new roles, and cross-training allows volunteers to fill in for each other and learn a variety of tasks. All you need to do is go to our website, Sahuaritafoodbank.org, and fill out a volunteer interest form. As SFB-CRC gets closer to moving into the new building, we will reach out to you to find the perfect position.

 

 We need people in our food operation to welcome and register clients, many who are Spanish speakers. Others provide assistance as they shop. We also need volunteers who can lift up to 40 pounds to move products, as well as someone who can drive an 18 foot box truck (no commercial license required). We require people to sort produce and contributions from groceries, clean work areas, do data entry for food acquisition and distribution, light duty maintenance, or help out with food drives and community events.

 

Less physical volunteer opportunities in a more administrative role include data entry, volunteer coordination and tracking, front-desk reception/welcoming of clients, and filing and general office duties. 

 

We are especially looking forward to helping volunteers get settled into roles in our new community resource center where you will have the opportunity to have a direct impact in the lives of clients who are seeking to improve their economic standing and future for their families. We will be looking for volunteers to assist in assessment and development planning, vocational coaching and guidance one to one with bilingual language skills often needed, and computer and software instruction in Excel, Word, email, and basic computer skills. We will also need folks to teach business management skills for food business owners, childcare providers, and other career roles, and we will also need experienced instructors in prepping food, cooking, and hygiene practices.

 

It’s going to be an exciting time for us as we rebuild and expand our “volunteer corps” and we want you to be a part of it. Consider offering your time and talent to make a difference in the lives of so many who need you.

Facebook Fundraise For Us

You can actually create your own fundraising operation on Facebook for non-profits you support. If you decide to direct your efforts toward SFB-CRC and our mission to feed the hungry, as well as provide essential employment and business skills, you should know that it’s easy, and all donations go directly to us via direct deposit. No personal information is shared with SFB-CRC without permission. 

 

To create your own fundraiser for SFB-CRC, just click here and follow these steps: 

 

  1. Click Fundraisers in the left menu of your News Feed. You may need to click See More.

  2. Click Raise Money

  3. Log into your Facebook account

  4. Select Nonprofit or Charity

  5. Search for and select “Sahuarita Food Bank,” fill in the fundraiser details and choose a cover photo.

  6. Click Create

 

It is that easy and a great way to support the work we do. For more information on Facebook Fundraisers, click here.