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Jul 21 2020

More Than Just A Box

By Ericka Plater for The Island Connection

A cardboard box. It is a simple thing. It holds your much-needed purchases; your packed belongings during a move; helps make a diorama for a school project.

This box doesn’t mean anything to most. But just a simple, six-sided box holds a lifeline to some. A box filled with groceries can ensure a family can use the income it has to pay for the utility bill to keep the lights on, gas to get to work or groceries to feed their family.

A simple box can provide hope.

At Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, we are doing just that. We have stayed on the front lines providing hope to those needing emergency financial, employment and food services during these challenging times.

Since March, we have:

• delivered 200 senior food boxes to reduce the risk of exposure to our most vulunerable seniors and distributed 180 boxes at our outreach location;

• packed almost 25,000 pounds of food at both locations for families in need;

• handed out more than 5,800 bag lunches at the Neighborhood House Soup Kitchen location;

• given close to $12,000 in financial assistance.

The organization also partnered with Pay It Forward, Feed the Need and Tricounty Family Ministries to expand our distribution of weekly boxes to include fresh produce to food and beverage employees and community members within our service areas needing emergency food who have been hit hard by COVID-19. Teaming up with these extraordinary groups helps local farmers, eliminates potential waste and positively impacts the

community where we live, work and play – and we are so proud these groups asked us to join this initiative.

A box is not just a box. It is an assortment of hope, generosity and community partnership.

We are continuing our focus on emergency food, financial support and job assistance, and we are diligently working on plans to safely resume other services. We hope that you and yours are staying healthy and safe during this time.

We will update you as things continue to evolve.

We are here to uplift, to support, to listen and to understand. We are a place of respect, inclusion, acceptance and hope. It’s even more imperative right now for us to live our values and do our part, to sit in the gap and continue to be that place of respect, inclusion, acceptance and hope for our community.

We are in awe of the support and encouragement we have received from supporters like you, and we thank you!

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