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Serving Up Love and Dignity in the Time of COVID

November 10, 2020: Hi friends, A few weeks ago a little boy and his mother came to Una Vida’s Emergency Garage Pantry. The boy, not more than 7 years old, opened up the refrigerator in the garage and proclaimed, in the most surprised and sincere voice, “Look mama, this refrigerator has food!” With that, the mom and I started crying, both taken back with his most genuine observation. With our Garage Pantry I always orient people to the food available and then leave them alone to ‘shop’. About 20 minutes later I was surprised to hear a small knock at the door. The little boy had asked his mom if he could give the stone heart that his grandmother gave to him to me - to say thank you for the food.

That is what we do at Una Vida - one of the things I am most proud of - our person to person love and care for one another. Of course, none of this would be possible without the team of people that volunteer to make the magic happen. Friends, trusting you are safe and healthy- sending love and light your way. The story above gives you a glimpse of what we’ve been up to this year. It's hard to believe that we've been living through a global pandemic for 8 months now. As you know, when COVID began, we launched into action to help feed families facing hunger and undernutrition. Between our Tuesday deliveries, our weekly Community Markets and our Emergency Garage Pantry at the house, we've distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food and more than 650 bags of clothes and shoes to local families! More than serving food, it is our mission and hope to first serve love and dignity to ALL we come in contact with. Truth is, without that we have very little. Some of the most touching moments are when families take the time to make something from the provisions we have given them and bring them to share with us. You know that makes me cry happy tears! Many of you have been asking how you can plug in and help as we head into the holiday season as community needs increase. Thank you for asking! Here are 3 ways you can jump in: Pantry Clean Out: Most of us have items that we just aren’t going to use - that could be shared with others. We accept both perishable and non-perishable items with open arms. We ask that you only give us un-expired foods. Even though we all know that food is often still good after it’s expiration date we want to show the most respect that we can to those in the greatest need. Drop off anytime at 1736 Gilrix Street - either by the garage door or on the porch. If you have perishable items to donate please contact me at Thanksgiving Gift Cards: We’d love to offer the 300+ families that we work with on a weekly basis a $20.00 gift card to Grocery Outlet so they can purchase a turkey or ham of their choice. We will be providing all the fixings to go with their meals! Donations toward this campaign can be made through the donate button on Una Vida’s homepage. Winter Coat Drive: We’re collecting winter coats, apparel, warm blankets and sleeping bags to support our unsheltered friends in the community. If you have any gently loved items you would like to share, please drop off at 1769 Pine Avenue between the Jeep and garage door, anytime. Please limit your donations to WINTER shoes, clothing and sleeping bags - More than ANYTHING I want to say THANKS! In the midst of a totally unexpected global pandemic so many of you have infused love and kindness into the lives of others. For this, and so much more, I continue to be immensely grateful. Lynne


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