October 31 – Two weeks ago you got part 1 of Richard Comes to Harvesters. At last, here’s the conclusion!As I have mentioned before, the line of cars waiting for the folks to be served, generally stretches way up the hill away from the church. Usually Dennis or Jim stand down on the road waiting till the way is clear so the cars one by one make their way up to the food. On the windshield are small cards of various colors telling the workers how many of each type of food goes to that particular car. Anywhere from one family up through seven, but mostly in between, from two through four. How thankful the recipients are and how gracious they are in expressing thanks!
The number of the workers varies, but usually there are about 15-20. Two of the leaders, after they have found how much of each food is available, go around telling the volunteers to give out a certain amount. After about two or three hours of distribution, the last vehicle disappears down the road, and we begin the clean-up. Old cardboard boxes are carried down to a section where they are burned. The pallets are carried by Dennis and his tractor to a place at the end of the parking lot to be picked up the next month when the truck arrives with palettes full of food once more.Speaking of Dennis, it was interesting to me to find out that he and Richard were postmasters at the same time, but in different areas. They had some interesting words to exchange! Speaking of Richard again, we became fast friends over the years as I continued to buy new stamps for my collection. He made sure that I didn’t miss out on any of them.
We have special time together every week as we drive up to the post office to see how he is doing. Why is he there every time we go there? Because he knows when our weekly visits are, and stops in at the same time to see if he can be of help there at the post office. So many people who come in while we are standing off in a corner catching up on how we are doing, call out, “Good morning, Richard. Good to see you again!” And now, if he continues working with Harvesters, he will find more friends there.
Our Harvesters program began roughly seven years ago this last September. In 2013 there were only 8 volunteers, but we had 25 or so this last September! From about 2,500 pounds of food given out in the beginning year, last month the volunteers gave out over 16,000 pounds. Only once in the five years that we have been helping with the program have we had to skip the day’s work because of rain! Total households served are around 140-150.The Harvesters group keeps up with the volunteer program as one of their reps visits from time to time. During October, one lovely lady, Sandra, drove in and parked right beside us. A few minutes later, Josh, one of our young guys came rushing across the parking lot directly to our truck. With his arms outstretched for a hug, I quickly got out and returned that hug; young folks are a real blessing! After Josh left, the lady said she was surprised that a teen, especially a boy, would do that sort of thing, especially to older folks! Well, I’m only ninety, so why should he think I’m old!
After Pam and the lady checked out the program and found it to be most satisfactory, she joined a group of young folks who were packing various items while they joked and teased. She really enjoyed their company and remarked that they had done a really good job! She had to go back to the office so someone else could drive to her job, but I think she was enjoying the visit because she must have said that four times or more before she finally said, “Well, I really do need to go, now!” – CHRIS