Marcella's Kitchen Newsletter 3/17/22
"It is always our goal to be a good steward of whatever comes to us. This ministry has allowed us to be good stewards and be a special blessing to lots of folks. Thank you for supporting the Mike Miller park food drive as well as other food drives, such as Can the Curb drive, which provides us the items to keep the Blessing Boxes filled."
6 WEEKS LATER NEEDS EVOLVE FOR TORNADO VICTIMS
Attention fades, but the community pulls together
Now that the TV crews have largely left town and the public officials have made their visits, Skipper said the phone calls from people looking to deliver donations have died down. But that’s not unique.
“This is not our first disaster,” Skipper said. “It’s kind of the same for two or three weeks. It gets daily attention on the news, and that’s when the massive amounts of goods come pouring in.”
But the donations haven’t stopped. Recently, Skipper and a group of volunteers helped a Murray, Kentucky-based dairy company donate 24,000 cartons of donated milk. It went to displaced victims of the storm, local schools, and to anyone who wanted it during a giveaway in Marshall County.
The massive milk donation from a Western Kentucky company is an example of what Skipper has seen for weeks — the areas hit hardest by the storms are committed to helping one another.
“This is a tight-knit community and a strong faith-based community,” Skipper said. “People are really leaning on each other.”
As tornado relief continues, we want to highlight US Vet Connect Inc. They are a Kentucky nonprofit delivering supplies to frontline workers, gathering toys for tots, bringing a Tree of Hope to Mayfield, and much more.
You can support their efforts here and find more organizations in the #TornadoRelief Trending Cause on our app.
10 DAYS LATER, THE BEST WAY TO HELP TORNADO VICTIMS
“It’s fixing to get really cold,” said Randy Skipper, Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Vet Connect, which is based in Benton, Kentucky. “Propane heaters and kerosene heaters are going to be one of the number one things needed to keep people warm.”
Skipper said the generosity toward Western Kentucky residents should continue, but if donors want to truly help they must talk to those on the ground before they show up with a loaded U-Haul.
“People still need supplies,” he said. “But one area may need more things one day, and what we’re trying to do is make sure people get what they need when they need it.”
STATE, NATION COME TOGETHER TO BRING CHRISTMAS TO TORNADO VICTIMS
Theresa Walters, CEO of US Vet Connect Inc. based in Benton is also organizing a “Toys for Tots Tussled by the Tornado” gift drive to help Mayfield and surrounding communities. The organization has been organizing this toy drive in addition to coordinating relief for frontline workers. She said the community has been “blessed” by the country and “all these giving hearts” that just want to give these kids a good Christmas. Us Vet Connect has also received a donation from Walmart, Walters said.
Walters said the main goal of this toy drive is to spread some Christmas cheer and make some kids smile.
“These kids, they’re gonna remember this for the rest of their lives. So, we wanted to make a smile,” Walters said.
Walters is also in touch with some volunteers who are working to bring a large Christmas tree to Mayfield to brighten up families’ holiday season. The organization has also coordinated Santa’s help in giving out some of the presents to kids in Mayfield and surrounding communities on Christmas Eve. Walters said the group will continue to give toys away even after Christmas until they run out.
THE TRIBUNE COURRIER
The food drive will benefit Marcella’s Kitchen, who is also working with Marshall County Caring Needline to distribute some of the food via Thanksgiving boxes.
“We’re hoping to just fill up that whole dining room (at Marcella’s),” said Michelle. “It’s just fun for the community and it’s easy for the donor. Someone could call the same day even because we will have people running around.”
Donors will be entered into a donor appreciation drawing for $500 cash and other prizes.
“We are thankful for the donors. It’s just a nice way of saying thank you. It’s a good way for the businesses in town to be a part of it too because they are donating the gift cards and products,” Michelle Skipper said.
“The whole thing is about the community to me. It’s getting involved, getting people back involved with something fun that helps do something good,” Randy said
RIO VISTA BEACON
FOOD DRIVE IS a REAFFIRMING SUCCESS
They started an organization called US Vet Connect Inc., with the idea of creating a national organization to help disabled veterans and people in general. Both Randy and Theresa are veterans themselves, and during the pandemic saw great need to connect those in need with those who were looking for ways to help.
Knowing that social distancing orders and fear of going out were preventing a lot of people from dropping off donations, “we were looking for a way to make it safe and easy to donate,” said Michelle.
Their solution was “Can the Curb,” a donation campaign held on Flag Day 2020,
The result? “It was a reaffirming success,” Michelle declared, “The community really came through.”
They started hoping to fill a 5-foot-by-10-foot container. At the end, the donations ended up filling a 10-foot-by-25-foot container,
Inspired by their success, the trio is using the Rio Vista experience as a test run to build a national campaign where they would encourage small communities, apartment complexes and other groups to create their own “Can the Curb” events to fill local food pantries. They plan to provide flyer and social media templates as well as connections to local services in need of help.