It all stemmed from a simple conversation among team members. Danielle Drayer, Business Operations Administrator, was looking for a local charity to donate remaining non-perishable items at the end of the 2020 Hurricane Season. Through a program called WestCMR Cares, the company supports its team by providing hurricane kits, as well as non-perishable food items and water, in the case of incoming storms.
She was advised to look into St Vincent de Paul Community Kitchen, a 501c3 charity which responds to the needs of our community through a daily meal service, no questions asked. Danielle reached out to Christine Bond, executive director at SVdP, and made plans to deliver the granola bars, peanut butter and cases of water the following week.
Upon further conversation with Christine, Danielle was made aware of an urgent need for clothing, especially jackets and coats, as the temperatures were dropping below 50 degrees. She immediately communicated this urgent need to our Philanthropy committee, whose members agreed to set up a Jacket and Shoes Drive. Additionally, our CEO Randy Ware committed to purchasing additional outerwear to clothe every single one of the SVdP daily clients.
In an email on December 3rd, Christine shared: “there are approximately 125 individuals who depend on our daily food service. We also have a thrift store off site, which helps us clothe our clients, but we keep a supply of clothing and shoes for those who enter our doors clearly in immediate need. Today, with temperatures in the 40s, we had a shivering older man enter with no jacket and three teenage girls huddled together with thin shirts.”
Within a 10-day period, our staff of 60 brought in 136 gently worn articles of clothing, including shoes, jackets, sweaters, pants and more. Danielle placed an order for an additional 67 jackets, which were all delivered on December 16th to the SVdP Community Kitchen.
“You have stocked our shelves for a good while,” said Christine Bond. “I am thrilled we won’t have to tell our neighbors in need that we will not be able to meet an urgent request. You have been a blessing!”