This year, having the financial resources and the ability to help people feels like a lot to be thankful for! These are trying times for many, many people. There can’t be many people in this world who can say that COVID-19 hasn’t had an impact on their lives. Over these months, folks who have worked hard and created a nice and manageable life for themselves and their families were hit with a big pandemic. WHACK! A wrench was thrown into all of the best-laid plans for 2020. Often, I speak with people who have been getting along well enough, as well as with people who have confided in me that they already have been barely making it prior to this virus. I could not begin to say how many times I have heard the words: ” I never thought that I would be here.” “I never thought that I would be the one asking for help.” “I was always the one that gave and helped others.”
Folks, this is the time to make a withdrawal from the Bank of Good Karma. Please come and seek out the support of Lyons Emergency & Assistance Fund, LEAF. We are here for you. In this time of chaos and turmoil, those of us who are a part of the Helpers are happy to confide in you that we are all so thankful for you, the clients, our participants, our neighbors, and the community members who speak up and seek out to improve their situation.
Here at LEAF, I was able to round up a few of our team members’ volunteers and one employee who happily shared with me their thoughts on what they are thankful for this season.
Deb, a faithful steward of the LEAF Community Food Pantry, shared with me that she is “most thankful for the overwhelming generosity of this season and COVID. Everyone is stepping up to the plate. Every day people give and the Day of Giving doesn’t even start until next week! All of the people are a bit COVID COVID fatigued. The clients really have expressed gratitude more often. I wish the donors could see the faces of our clients that have expressed so much gratitude for the support. You can see that everyone is giving from the heart.”
Nancy, another Food Pantry leader, who gets the job done at a steady pace with a smile that you can see through her mask, is “thankful for the opportunity to be able to volunteer and that it is available to the people in the Lyons area who use the service. Grateful that we have been so well supported by the community for our clients. Grateful that Lyons has LEAF, especially during this time of COVID and the flood and every day.”
Through her glasses, Ruth beamed when she stated that she has been volunteering with the Food Pantry LEAF food bank for four to five years. She feels privileged to help out now because at one point in life she found herself looking into LEAF services and was able to get the support that she needed. “This is a wonderful non-profit.”
The LEAF’s Executive Director, Lory Barton, has the best vantage point of all: “I feel lucky to see how the goodwill and hard work of so many come together for powerful good, and especially in this difficult season. Our community has met extraordinary needs in extraordinary ways so far this year. Faithful donors and passionate volunteers have combined efforts to meet these extraordinary needs.”
The chair of LEAF’s Board, Tricia Marsh, who barely had time to take a moment to pause while hustling and bustling around on our busy Wednesday Food Pantry distribution day, took the time to express that her gratitude comes from “the resources, both physical and financial, that have been able to broaden LEAF’s programs and serve the community on a deeper and more expanded level.”
Crystal White, another LEAF board member, is thankful for all of the love and all of the support LEAF has given to the community. This comes from several different conversations that she has recently had during her travels around town.
I hope that for those of you who have had to deplete your savings account, for vacations, for college, for braces for your child, or for those of you who have maxed out your credit card to cover your expenses, please reach out to LEAF. For those of you who don’t realize yet that LEAF is here for YOU, please email us or call us when you are ready. Feel free to stop by the Food Pantry on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. at Lyons Community Church lower level, 350 Main Street, and visit with one of our LEAF representatives. (Pull up curbside and wear a mask, please). If you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who could benefit from someone helping them along the journey of 2020 and into 2021, please contact us at LEAF. I hope that when you do reach out to us that you find empathy and a kind listening ear when you need us. We are thankful for you because, here at LEAF, we all realize that sometimes, oftentimes, it takes a lot of courage to contact us and we are glad when you do.
Upcoming LEAF events:
· Holiday Giving Tree. If you can provide a holiday gift for someone who is struggling this year, please visit our website at leaflyons.org or visit in downtown Lyons a Giving Tree at Barking Dog, Stone Cup, or Uniquely Lyons. Pick an anonymous ornament. Shop for and purchase the gift ($40 maximum) that is listed on the ornament you chose. Wrap and deliver the gift you purchased–with the ornament attached–to Pizza Bar 66 at 430 Main Street during their normal business hours. The deadline for gift drop off is Wednesday, December 16th at 5 p.m.
· Super Duper Holiday Food Pantry is Wednesday, December 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Lyons Community Church, 350 Main Street. (Pull up curbside, stay in your car, and wear a mask please). We’ll have hams, produce, bread, household and personal care items, and more. Come prepared to meet our Very Special Guests, too.
Virtual Rave To The Grave 2020 was a Smashing Success!
If you haven’t tuned in to LEAF’s Virtual Rave To The Grave yet, it’s not too late! Everything about this year’s Rave was different. But that didn’t stop Arthur Lee Land and Skye McDonald and the team: They built an event that highlights Lyons’ creativity, generosity, and community. This year’s event has raised $27,360…to date! There’s still time to watch the show and even to make a Rave To The Grave donation. Thank you, friends, for rising to COVID’s challenge and raving with LEAF this year!
For more information, including additional programs offered through LEAF, go to the web site. 720-864-4309 LEAF is hiring an Administrative & Support Assistant. Please check out the job posting and share it! Special thanks to Higher Grounds Ministries, Laura Levy Coldwell Banker, Lyons Elementary, Lyons Middle/Senior High School, and more for contributions to the Super Duper Holiday Food Pantry.