At our Convention in Springfield, MNA leadership asked that the Regional Councils undertake a community service project (November visibility) in the spirit of the Main Street Contract – RNs Chart a Better Life for All Americans. Regional Council 3 chose to help out Independence House, the only community-based resource on Cape Cod that provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse (services are also provided to children of survivors). IH expressed a need for help with their food pantry so we arranged to hold a Food & Diaper Drive on Saturday, November 10 at the Stop & Shop across the street from the MNA office in Sandwich.
I am happy to report that the Drive was a real success. In fact, the results far exceeded anyone’s expectations! We delivered a truckload of food and diapers to IH – value estimated at $4000. In addition, we collected $450 in grocery gift cards! The staff at IH has never seen anything like it; neither had we.
The generosity shown by the people of Sandwich and surrounding towns was just amazing. Our flyer explained our cause and included a short list of suggested items. People came out of the store with two and three items for our carts and, more often with full bags of food for us. Many actually purchased everything on the list! Several couples came out with two shopping carts loaded and one was for us! A very humbling experience.
We plan to hold two major Food Drives for IH each year – this year, on June 15 (IH has a heightened need heading into summer) and October 19 (a little warmer weather for volunteers) to stock up for winter and the holidays.
In addition, we ask that you bring donations to any of the Region 3 programs and events throughout the year. We collected many bags of groceries, diapers/wipes and personal products as well as generous cash donations at our recent Fall programs. Thank you to all who made these contributions!
And finally, each of our bargaining units will be conducting one to two week drives in their facilities twice per year so that we will be able to maintain a fairly steady supply of goods flowing to the IH food pantry throughout the year (and in between the major food drives).
This was an unbelievable experience and I want to thank our Office Manager, Pat, all the Regional Council members, and especially John O’Brien, who showed us all how it was done and stayed all day handing out flyers and transporting donations to the Region Office. And thank you to Pat and Brian Conway and Cookie for sorting all the donations and procuring a truck (a big, big truck) and delivering the donations to Independence House in Hyannis. I am including some pictures (more on pg. 7) to give you an idea of the magnitude of the giving and I want to encourage everyone to get involved with the next event…it is a heart gladdening experience to see firsthand how highly nurses are regarded by the people under our care.
Thank You All! Happy Holidays!
Stephanie Stevens RN, CNOR
Chairperson, MNA Regional Council 3