North Okanagan Valley Gleaners thanks community for aid in Guatemala project

Letter: After filling the 40 ft. Seacan in June, items went to those impacted by the Fuego volcano eruption that displaced many Guatemalans.

North Okanagan Valley Gleaners reached out to the Morning Star this week to thank Vernon for the work to help Guatemalans who faced tragedy after the Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupted June 3, killing more than 60 people and displacing thousands from their homes.

Gleaners issued the following letter:

Thank you to the 270 volunteers that make this ministry function; thank you to the farmers and orchardists that are donating the vegetables for us to make the soup; thank you to those that donate furniture to allow us to fund this Ministry; thank you to the medical facilities that donate equipment; thank you to the many people that have knitted clothing for the children in the northern areas that need warmth as well as food.

Related: North Okanagan Gleaners responds in Guatemala relief effort

Related: Gleaners lend a hand locally and abroad

It is a busy year again and this has been a result of the people that are connected to our charity.

We have had farmers donate enough vegetables for us to produce almost 7 million meals in the last year.

Local medical facilities have continued to donate used medical supplies to us so that we can ship them off to areas of need throughout the world. There have been four Seacans shipped out in the last year and we are preparing for 3 more in the next month. Most of these items would have gone directly to our landfills so this is truly an environmental stewardship program that also helps those in need in countries that don’t have our blessings.

We have had more furniture donated to us than ever before. This allows us to fund our global initiatives but we also donate up to 10 per cent of the furniture back to those in need locally. We helped out over 100 families through these donations.

We were nearly empty of food at our Lavington facility when there was a volcano in Guatemala on June 3rd and an impassioned plea for help was sent to us from “Seed to Harvest Ministry” which is located near the volcano area.

The North Okanagan residents did not disappoint.

We were asked if we could produce a million meals and basic need items (blankets, shampoo, etc.) to fill a 40-foot Seacan. They needed the items within three weeks.

It was exciting to see how many from our community stepped up to help. We filled the Seacan on June 26 and it was shipped immediately to be distributed to children around the decimated area of the Fuego volcano. It is anticipated that the next shipment will go to the same area in December.

Our goal is to expand our volume to produce up to 9 million meals next year. We will not be able to achieve this without more volunteers at the plant or at the store. If you are looking to step up and serve with us please call the plant 250-558-5872 or the store 250-549-1123. We can use your skills to feed the poor. We have a great need for volunteers in the kitchen, driving the truck, lifting furniture, and many other skills as well.

Related: Gleaners say thanks

Related: Volunteers keep the Gleaners running

Related: Gleaners grateful

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