Feel Good by Giving

Help Hunger

I want to start this out by sharing a little about my past.  I did not come from a life of privilege or wealth.  My Father was a hard working man, my Mother a homemaker and while we didn’t have alot as kids we were never short on love.  During my childhood the country was in the throes of the recession of the 70s.  Jobs, money, oil and food were all things in short supply.  My Father’s job was hit hard and he found himself out of work.  Unemployment was enough to pay the bills, but that was it.

When we went to look for help the Food Banks were dry, our Church was tapped, our family and friends were in no better shape than we were.  It was hard times.  I remember watching my Parents not eat for 3 days just to give my Brother and Myself the last can of beans. My parents sat where they thought we could not see them crying in each other’s arms. They were  wondering what they were going to feed us tomorrow and hoping for some kind of help.  This made a lasting impression on me as a child and I vowed that if I were ever in a position to help people… I would.  I did not want other kids or their parents to ever be sad over the last can of beans.

It was Christmas time 1977.  Our family had nothing, except for a 1 pound brick of butter, a box of powdered milk and a block of Government cheese that we got from standing in line for 2 hours in the rain and cold, outside a warehouse in Tacoma, Washington.  My Father had a penny jar from which they scrounged out enough money to buy some elbow macaroni from the Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  We were going to have Mac ‘n’ Cheese for Christmas, for this we were happy and grateful.

Around 7pm that night we heard a knock at the door.  My Father got up to answer it and standing at the door were strangers. Strangers holding a large box filled with food.

A turkey, stuffing mix, canned green beans, a head of iceberg lettuce, a tomato, a sack of potatoes, oranges, apples, cranberry sauce, gravy mix and a bottle of cheap wine (my Mom still has this wine in her fridge as a reminder).  We were all stunned, my Mother cried thankful tears while my Father humbly and graciously accepted the gifts.  Who were these people?  To this day I do not know, but their kindness and generosity made a profound impression.  This is also one of my fondest and most precious Christmas memories.

So this brings me to the present day.  That promise that I made to myself as a child… I have kept it.  Even in the lean years where I did not have alot to give, I know that I had more than some other people out there.  When the budget is tight it doesn’t hurt to pick up an extra can of food and drop it in the collection box at the Supermarket on the way out the door… I can afford that extra .89 cents and go without that candy bar or that soft drink if it means that a family that does not have… will have.

Donations for West Seattle Food Bank
Feeling great about helping make happy tummies

So today I got up and I was reflecting back to that day when strangers came to my door and our family was fed.  Even though I give to charities every year, today I was especially moved to go the extra mile, fueled by the memories of the past.  I decided to take my budget for carousing and eating out for the rest of November and go buy food to feed the hungry.  So $150.00 later the back of our car was chocked full of fresh loaves of wheat bread, condensed milk, evaporated milk, soy milk, black beans, kidney beans, apples, potatoes, onions,  chicken broth, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, cup of noodles, mac ‘n’ cheese, refried beans, peanut butter, tuna fish, 24 juice-box sized chocolate milks and love.

We pulled up to the West Seattle Food Bank after hours but they were kind enough to stay open and let us cart in our goods.  We came in and saw bags already on the long tables ready to go out for home deliveries to the hungry first thing in the morning.   They were especially thankful for the milk as we were told that they did not have many dairy products to give out.   They also informed us that those fresh loaves would be going out in the morning with some of the bags.  This all made me very happy to hear, as I was hoping that Rasmus and I had gathered up a well rounded supply of food.

Trip to the Food Bank
At the loading bay & inside the West Seattle Food Bank

So why am I sharing this?  Because I feel wonderful inside.  Tomorrow when I wake up, some hungry family will be getting a bag filled with the kindness of strangers.  Not just me but from all the strangers who have given to those who need it most.  There will be no wondering if they will go to bed hungry that night or tears shed over bare cupboards.

Fighting Hunger
1 can or 100 cans.  $1 or $100…. Every little bit helps feed those in need.

So I am challenging you all and having a giveaway.  I want you to go without a luxury, be it a day or a week or a month and use that money to buy food to donate or to donate the dollars directly to your local Food Bank.  No amount is too small, every little bit helps.  Then I want you to tell me and the world about it by writing a blog post*** about it.  Then come back here to nommynom.com and post a link to your blog post in the comment section of this post.

Feel Good by Giving – Giveaway Rules
Giveaway – what do you get:
One winner to receive (1) $50 Amazon Gift Certificate

How to be Involved:
Go without a luxury for a day, week or month & use the money to Feed the Hungry. No amount is too small!

How to Enter:
Write a blog post about your donation, post your link in the comments section of this post.***

How Winner is Picked: Random Number Generator

Entry Deadline: December 20th Midnight PST

Winner Announced: December 24th

Find a Food Bank:
Washington State Food Banks
Northwest Harvest
Mama’s Health US Food Bank Locator
Feeding America
Feed Melbourne

***You do not have to have a Food Blog to enter, all types of blogs are welcome to participate.  If you do not have a blog, you can use the “Note” feature on Facebook & tag Kelly Cline, then comeback here and post the link.  If you have neither a blog or a Facebook profile you can email your entry to: giving[at]kclinephotography[dot]com

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20 Responses to Feel Good by Giving

  1. Dusty says:

    I don’t have a blog, I am a guy of few words… good job sis, I actually remember that.
    I don’t have much, but today at work I set up a $130 donation to be deducted from my payroll and I designated it for the food banks through United Way out here in my neck of the woods…

    It isn’t much, but as you said, someone out there has less.


  2. Rasmus says:

    I remember a couple of holidays as a kid, my daqd and I got a bag of groceries to get us through as well. Being able to return the favor is a really nice feeling.

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  5. This is agreat post, Kelly. And thank you for sharing a persoanl story.
    I’m glad that my kids schools have food drives as well as other organizations around. I always give food through the schools and always place a bag full of goods by the mail boxes for those trcuks to come and pick them up. How can I not do that when my pantry is always full of food?!

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  7. ellen says:

    You are a star, Kelly.

  8. k says:

    I saw this on WSB– thank you for the reminder. For my kids’ bday party we asked for food donations for WSFB instead of presents. We went to Costco and picked out exactly what my kids wanted to give. When we delivered it the kids were treated well and they were amazed to see the food bank. They received a really nice thank you note from WSFB. They are talking about doing it again. I think this will become an annual tradition. We will do something for this season as well.

  9. Beth says:

    Oh Kelly, you moved me to tears with your story this morning…my child’s school does have a food drive as well to which we contribute, but you my friend have prompted me to do more. Today, I will discuss this important job with my children, I know their huge hearts will come up with some fantastic ideas. I will post this weekend, take care Kelly and thank you for sharing your warm and caring heart with us all!

  10. Sean Locke says:

    Wednesday afternoon we took the children to the grocery and let them pick out food to donate to this weekend’s “Scouting for Food”, that they thought “other kids who didn’t have any” would want to eat (but not an entire cart of fruit roll-ups :) ). We spent over a hundred dollars on peanut butter and jelly, ketchup, canned fruit, pancake mix, applesauce and more. Saturday, it will all join our pack’s pickup and get sorted and carted across the lot to the food bank.

    Don’t forget to put out your bags!

  11. Kelly says:

    How awesome to hear you Guys & Gals getting your kiddos involved, I love it :)
    I’m really touched by the warm response this has received and so happy to hear that people are out there helping people right now. Can’t wait to read up on everyone’s experience with this challenge.
    You Folks are the best :)

  12. a truly inspiring post! thank you for reminding me how lucky we all are and to give back. food has always been the way i show my love to family and friends. thanks again for the inspiration and i’ll post again when i’ve made a difference…

  13. Sussie says:

    Dear Kelly… This is why I love you. I’m inspired! In Denmark, we don’t have food banks – I’m not sure why, but maybe our welfare system is a bit more fine-meshed..? What we have is a lot of charitable organizations, and they’re all crying out for money so that they can help the needy. Each year one of them (Børnenes Kontor) puts a chest on one of Copenhagen’s largest places called Rådhuspladsen, so that people can donate money for families in need of christmas aid. I go there every year to give what I have, and every year I stand there for a minute with my head bowed and remember that particular year when I myself got christmas aid for me and my children from Børnenes Kontor. Food, toys for the kids, snacks, spices. That experience made me humble and that is the feeling I try to hold on to every day. For it’s the humility that makes the world a better place. The humility towards the resources, both human and material. Pardon my English but I had to respond to this post ;0) It touched me, and inspired me to give something back.

  14. Mark Med says:

    Way to go Kelly and Ras and everyone else for being moved to help the less fortunate. These are hard times and it sure feels good to get a break once in awhile.

    Kelly’s example has a ripple effect that reaches out to each of us and puts these people back to the front of our mind.

  15. Jenna Z. says:

    Such a great idea! I just posted on my blog about my donation to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank:

    I love the idea of giving up something, it shows that yes, we DO have extra money that gets spent on luxury items but could also be spent to help others! Although now, I don’t think I’ll be able to buy road snacks without thinking “What could this $7.32 buy for the food bank?” Thanks so much for the reminder of how good we have it!

  16. Shana Ray says:

    Challenge accepted my friend!!! Thinking either cheese or coffee. Hmmm…

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  18. Diane555 says:

    Hi Kelly. I think what you’re doing is awesome and I was planning something similar. Plus it made me finally start a blog. ha!

  19. Hsunchi Chen says:

    I cried reading this post. Love what you are doing.

  20. Kelly says:

    The Random Drawing pulled up Jenna Z of http://corgipants.blogspot.com
    Jenna, if you could get in touch with me at this email: giving@kclinephotography.com that would be awesome.

    Thank you so much to EVERYONE who participated and to those who were STILL participating after the contest was long gone.

    I will be making this an annual event from here on out.
    Everyone is a winner when it comes to giving. Again, thank you to each and every one of you that were moved, donated to food drives at work, who gave up luxuries to give to others… every little bit counts when there are so many out there that do not have what we have.

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