By Liz Yost
Liz Yost and friends at the first annual Chrome Ride.
On Saturday June 2, parents, volunteers, supporters and participants came together at the famous “Rainbow Road Club” in Rippon, WV in support of children with disabilities, specifically, the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children.
Friends from Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia roared in on their motorcycles to ride and show off their “chrome” for a fun filled day. For a $25 contribution each rider received a special event t-shirt and a catered lunch. The 5-stop poker run took riders through scenic West Virginia roads returning to The Rainbow Club where the best hand received a $100.00 prize, and the worst hand a $25.00 consolation. One special boy received a ride from committee member Clovis Van Ness that he will never forget. In seeing the excitement in the eyes of this special child, it was evident the kids have found a place in the hearts of the bike enthusiasts.
Riders and non-riders alike enjoyed the rest of the day with plenty of events from i-pad, chest of cheer, and 50/50 raffles. There were over 100 items in live and silent auctions some of which included Southwest airline tickets, NASCAR tickets, Brinkman gas grills, leather riding gear, rafting trips, signed paintings, a Prada purse and so much more. Hogs and Honey on site photos were taken and all enjoyed catered meals of pulled pork and barbeque chicken with all the trimmings.
It was truly a unique day of fun with special people coming together to help enrich the lives of “special people.” Much thanks goes out to the riders and everyone who came out to support, with a special thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, and committee members.
By Dick Stark
On volunteer day, May 12, 2012 I volunteered for the Goodwill of Greater Washington, specifically at a drop-off spot in Springfield, Virginia. I helped empty out people’s cars and trucks as they dropped off donations. A real estate company allowed the use of their parking lot and had marketed the neighborhoods to try to drum up business. The event was a success as we nearly filled up the truck with all sorts of household items.
Dick in front of the Goodwill donation truck.
In talking to Goodwill’s director of marketing I learned that donations are the lifeblood of the organization. Goodwill accepts used clothing, furniture, housewares, working electronics and many other items (everything except mattresses). These items are resold to help fund employment, job training and placement services for people with disabilities and disadvantages.
I was really impressed with Goodwill’s emphasis on job creation. The Goodwill of Greater Washington has a Jobs in ’12 initiative: Let’s put Greater Washington Back to Work. Jobs in ’12 supports Goodwill’s efforts to: train, equip and place nearly 200 people into new local jobs that support the local economy during 2012. These 200 jobs will come through the placement efforts from Goodwill’s intensive job training programs as well as continued expansion of Goodwill’s retail stores
Goodwill already provides 600+ jobs to local residents currently employed through its retail stores, janitorial contracts, and Goodwill’s administrative and support divisions. Year-to-date, Goodwill has created 66 new jobs towards its goal of 200!
By Alison Appenzellar
Back in October, I became involved in a local food pantry that ended up closing in December. As a result of this, a friend of mine and I decided to start our own food pantry, Tabitha’s Table, under the auspices of the church we both attend. Our pastor actually gave up his office so that we could store food! We had already created a relationship with the Maryland Food Bank, receiving monthly donations of over 6,000 lbs of food, so this continued with our new food bank. As time went on, the donations increased to over 7,000 lbs.
Alison’s Food Pantry, aka Tabitha’s Table.
As the food bank has grown, we are now serving close to (and sometimes over) 20 families per week in our community. When we have our monthly distribution, an average of 100 families are served on that day. We now have our own non-profit and in addition to the food pantry, have started an after-school program for children (many of whose parents frequent the food bank) to feed them snacks, do Bible studies and help with homework. Over this summer, we’ve been feeding them lunches and then have Bible time and snacks in the afternoon. We send them home with breakfast bags so that they have something to eat in the morning. Several times a week we feed them dinner, as there continues to be financial challenges for these families.