Our Place FIESTA — Project Feed the Thousands Kickoff!

Board Member Nancy Sargent in Action

It’s that time of year again — FIESTA time!!!   Mark your calendars, please!

Thursday, September 16th from 5-7 p.m. at Our Place / 4 Island Street / Bellows Falls

The 2nd Annual Our Place fiesta is our chance to thank our very generous volunteers, donors, and new stewards and formally launch the important Project Feed the Thousands food drive.

Matt, the Our Place cook, plans to grill wings and corn on the cob and we’ll complement that with all kinds of healthy munchies and sides.   Harvest Moon will be there with a cash bar.

Here’s a shot of Board Member and Development Committee Chair Nancy Sargent staffing the Our Place gazebo at a recent community event.

Hope to see you at Our Place on Sept 16th.   Please RSVP at 463-2217.

Our Place – 2010 Stewardship Initiative

Wow!   In the first month, close to 60 community members responded to Our Place’s new stewardship initiative.  We calculated what it costs Our Place to provide meals and groceries for households of different sizes for varying durations and invited people to team up with family members, neighbors, or colleagues to cover those expenses.

Check out our new banner, now hanging in The Square to thank all of you who are so generous to Our Place.

Please plan on coming to the 2nd Annual Our Place fiesta – scheduled for Thursday, September 16th from 5-7 p.m.

Our Place — CLOSED July 19-23

Hello -

Please note that Our Place will be closed next week.  Please feel free to stop by this week to get information on the various community meals served in the area — and to pick up groceries.   Call 463-2217.

Our Place at Saxtons River Parade

Just a note to invite you to stop by the Our Place gazebo at this Sunday’s 4th of July Parade down Main Street in Saxtons River!   We’ll be offering cold drinks and our cook’s yummy blueberry quick bread by donation.

AND we’ll have 50-50 raffle tickets available!    The drawing will be at the 2nd Annual Our Place Fiesta being held this year at Boccelli’s On the Canal the eve of Thursday, September 16th.

Our Place on Facebook!

New Our Place Board member Maryann McArdle has hit the ground running!   Within hours of joining the Board, Maryann identified the next step in the process of accepting online donations and updated OP’s Facebook page.     Now that’s a volunteer any organization would appreciate!

Please take a minute to become a fan of Our Place on Facebook!

Thank you!

Nan

Development Update

Our Place continues to enjoy the active and generous support of our community!     Thank you, thank you, thank you!

1.   Mark your calendars —>   September 16th (2nd annual Our Place fiesta at Boccelli’s) & November 7th (always sold-out Empty Bowl dinner at Alysson’s Orchard)

2.  Welcome Center hospitality fundraiser -–>  Thanks to Grafton Cheese Company, Vermont Country Store, Drew’s Natural, the Vermont Foodbank, Dutton’s Farmstand, Allen Brothers, Discount Food Warehouse, and Mr. G’s for donations of food that permitted Our Place to welcome travelers into our beautiful state with quite the spread of Vermont-made food products.   We also met our fundraising goal of $750.

3. New Stewardship Initiative —> In July, Our Place is unveiling a new initiative making it easier for people to team up with family, friend, or colleagues to serve as Our Place Stewards.   Stay tuned!

4.  Farmers Market —> Our Place will be collecting locally produced food at the Bellows Falls Farmers Market two Fridays per month beginning in July.   Please be sure to stop by our colorful gazebo, say ‘hello’ and pick up a copy of our cook’s wishlist and a shopping bag to drop in our food collection bin on your way out.   We LOVE supporting local growers and food producers in this way!!!!    Win-win-win!!!!

5.  50-50 Raffle - Each year, Our Place raises $2500 through the sale of raffle tickets.   Tickets are $20 each and only 250 will be sold between now and September 16th when the winning tickets will be drawn at the Fiesta.  50-50 is a bit of a misnomer in that you actually have five chances to win — 1st prize = $1000, 2nd & 3rd prizes = $500, and 4th & 5th = $250.   Improve your chances by buying more than one!  ;-)   Tickets are available from any Board member, at the gazebo wherever you see it set up this summer, and at the center Monday-Friday.

That’s it for now!    Again, thank you for your support!!!!

Scoop the Loop food drive / community walk!

Diane Harty, an Our Place Board member, is coordinating a new food drive / event to help fill the center’s relatively empty shelves in advance of the local harvest and summer giving period.   Please participate!!!!

Basically, all you have to do is:

* show up by 9:50 or so on Saturday, May 22nd (raindate May 23rd) with some food for the food shelf

* choose to walk one of two routes – 2 miles or .8 miles

* join the right group and walk away

* enjoy ice cream, entertainment,  great community spirit & individual / team awards upon return to Our Place!

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I’ll post the award categories as soon as they are finalized!   Call 802-463-2217 for more info or email ourplace@sover.net.

People served in 2009

Total meals served:     7,348

(up 26% over 2008)


Total people served by food shelf:   3,922

(up 18% over 2008)

Development Update!

* Thanks to the generosity of the greater Bellows Falls community, Our Place exceeded our 2009 Project Feed the Thousands food and cash goals.  You donated over 1,700 bags of food and nearly $10,000.

* Despite the state of the economy, 143 individuals, households, and organizations donated over $13,000 in response to our 2009 Holiday Appeal.  Many of these contributions were made in memory or honor of community members.

* 2010 development priorities include developing co-marketing and sponsorship / stewardship opportunities and boosting visibility and outreach through the use of community media and web-based tools.   Stay tuned!

Project Feed the Thousands – Update!

Wow!   Thanks so much to everyone who has jumped in to get the local Project Feed the Thousands campaign benefiting Our Place off to a great start!

Would you believe that we already have reached our financial contributions goal!???

THANK YOU so much for your generosity!   Our food drive coordination team will be meeting next week and we’ll decide then how best to proceed.   Should we double down????    ;-)

In the meanwhile, please feel free to be part of the excitement by contributing food.   I noticed today that the only canned veggies on the shelf are diced tomatoes and peas so that’s an urgent need – green beans, corn, spaghetti sauce, carrots, etc.   It’s all welcome!!!

Other items on the Our Place food shelf wishlist include:

  • frozen fruits and veggies
  • garlic, onions, winter squash, and other produce that can be stored
  • canned meats (tuna, chicken, ham, etc)
  • 100% fruit juice
  • personal care items (TP, soap, shampoo/conditioner, razors, tampons)
  • beans, peanut butter, jelly, healthy mac & cheese
  • powdered milk
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