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WHEAT thanks communities for support

By Jodi Breidel
GUEST COLUMNIST

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for your continued support of WHEAT and our programs.

Thank you to the residents of Clinton, Lancaster and Bolton, as well as the post office carriers in these towns, for donating, picking up and delivering food to WHEAT during the 2016 Letter Carriers’ "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive. As a result of your efforts, WHEAT received 4,758.50 pounds of food this year – a 39.46 percent increase over last year. Huge thanks specifically to Paul Chase in Clinton, Patty Higgins in Lancaster and Pat Bensetler in Bolton for spearheading this large initiative through your post offices and on our behalf. Thank you also to the Worcester Juvenile Probation Office for providing volunteers for the day, too. They did a great job.

Thank you to Barbara Ranieri and Diane Duchnowski for spearheading the second annual Fun Foodie Walk/Run this year, as well as the Spruce Street Tavern for hosting it and the many donors, walkers and runners for coming to show your support. Your contributions brought in an additional 510 pounds of food and personal care items to our pantry, as well as $100 in cash donations. What an incredible event led and organized by two amazing women who already contribute to so many other local causes. Thank you so much. I’m grateful for your friendship.

Along the same lines, thank you to the Thomas Serewicz Sr. Foundation for Kind and Responsible Living, Inc. as well as the Feel Good Foundation, for sponsoring events that not only benefit WHEAT, but our schools and some other great causes. We need grassroot fundraising efforts like these to help us supplement our programs when we don’t have all the resources we need to do it on our own. Thank you.

Thank you to the individuals and volunteer groups who continue to help us provide meals to 45 to 50 people per night, five days a week at the Community Café. Your dedication and partnership to this program is unmatched. These groups include the Item Appeal with catering by Turini Catering, the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Carr Family, The Exchange Club, The Rotary, Radius Employees, NYPRO, the Advanced Math and Science Academy, the First Parish Church of Bolton, United Church of Clinton, Legacy Group, The Clinton Hospital, Clinton Savings Bank, Ducharme Group, Darmann Abrasives, North Middlesex School, Feeding Souls, The Eagle Hill School, The Darnell School, Dr. Franklin Perkins School, Pat McEvilly, Ralph Stanton, Sheldon Cooper and Jim Buck. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the good work of Lorraine Mills, who collects donations from various stores and programs and shares the wealth with us regularly, too.

Thank you to the many donors who provide us with items to share and sell through our thrift store, Hidden Treasures. Every item goes a long way to either clothe or supply people of need with living and household essentials for free or to others at a very affordable cost to support our programs. If you haven’t been to the store in a while, stop by and visit.

To all of our donors and volunteers who I haven’t mentioned by name, we are grateful for your contributions as well. It’s not through the efforts of one but many people that we rely upon to help us help others in our community so please know that your efforts are appreciated and very much needed.

Thanks again for helping us make a positive difference in the lives of friends, family and neighbors within our community.

P.S. To stay up on all of our program happenings, please “like” our Facebook page “WHEAT Community Connections.”

Jodi Breidel is the North County regional director for the United Way of Tri-County.