Ingrid Murphy and Cindy Shearman, coordinators from Laurel Valley Area Food Pantry, were recognized as our April Volunteers of the Month. They do an awesome job each and every month with all of the responsibilities that go along with this position. Their commitment to helping families in need through their community goes far beyond their work with the food pantry each month.
When our office received a call from a young, single mother, who had just moved to our service area, it was quickly identified as a call with special circumstances involved that would need a little TLC (Tender Loving Care). A new start in a new location was needed in order to keep them safe. Safety for her child was the first priority for this mom. They had just secured an apartment with the housing authority and shelter was basically all they had. The mom had exhausted what little food she had in their apartment. With very little money available, no transportation and SNAP Food Stamp benefits that would not be available until the end of the week, she was desperately in search of food for her child. They had been eating bread for the past few days and it was beginning to take its toll. A simple pantry referral to receive food at the next distribution wasn’t going to help this family, so Ingrid was contacted and made aware of the situation. She immediately began networking to see what she could do to help them. Food from the food pantry, as well as, a local church’s emergency pantry was gathered and Ingrid, determined to help, made a delivery. She had a chance to talk with the mom and found her to be very grateful for the help. Ingrid learned more about this young family and their circumstances, she could see that the apartment had little more than a few necessities. They had been sleeping on the floor of one of the bedrooms on just a sheet. Ingrid reached out to Cindy and they set out to provide what they had available to make them feel comfortable and welcomed in their community. From there it turned into gathering kitchen items, furniture, linens, etc. The women soon had their husbands helping to move furniture in, and as they called it, “set them up.” A friendship developed with a neighbor in their building who had a child around the same age. The mom was looking into applying for a job with a local store and it looked like childcare could be worked out with her new friend. Things were definitely looking up for this family and it was due in great part to Ingrid, Cindy and their extended family and friends’ warmth, kindness, generosity and willingness to help.
Thank you Ingrid, Cindy and your team of helpers for going above and beyond in helping this young family find their place in your community!