By Mike Goorhouse, The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
I am inspired by all of the quarantined individuals seeking out opportunities to connect and support one another during this time of social distancing.
People are engaging in impromptu concerts on balconies, coordinating two minutes of applause for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, or sewing face masks to donate.
In the Holland/Zeeland area, there are plenty of ways to help from the safety of your own home. One of those is the #StayHomeFightHunger campaign.
This family-friendly project was started by Community Action House, and I loved the idea so much I jumped on board to help promote it. It’s a great opportunity for kids of all ages to learn about and practice philanthropy!
Following a set of packing and delivery instructions found under the “Volunteer at Home” section of www.careottawacounty.com, families pack boxes with high-need items like pasta noodles and sauce, cans of meat, canned vegetables and fruit, paper towels, and soap. They can then decorate the box and add a caring note from their family.
When the box is dropped off at Community Action House, their staff will add fresh fruit and veggies, dairy products, bread and meat. One box can feed two people for seven days.
The need is high. Community Action House is currently providing 100 boxes each day to those struggling with food security, which is four times the amount of food they were serving before the COVID-19 crisis. Thankfully, our community is stepping up in big ways. Shoreline Container donated 4,000 of the perfect-size boxes, and more than 250 family food boxes were packed and delivered in the first week!
As an additional incentive to encourage others to participate in #StayHomeFightHunger, my family and I pledged a financial contribution to Community Action House, and later added Hand2Hand Ministries, for each family who packs a box. We’ve been joined in this commitment by four additional generous companies: Holland Doctors of Audiology, Lakewood Construction, PeopleIT, and The Insurance Group – Stacy Segrist-Kamphuis.
All together, each box that is donated leverages another $45 donation! All we ask is that you use the tag #StayHomeFightHunger on social media with a photo or video showing your box being delivered, and we’ll each make a donation.
As we all prioritize staying home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, let’s not forget those individuals in our community struggling with housing, food, and basic needs. Now is the time to act and join the fight against hunger. We can make it through this if we do it together.
Mike Goorhouse is president of The Community Foundation of the Holland Zeeland Area.
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Quality of Life: The community, through governmental, religious, business and social organizations, makes decisions that contribute to its own well-being.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.