2017-2018 Care N’ Share Program
Benefiting Wyoming Food for Thought Project!
Based on input from our members and friends, Wyoming Food For Thought Project has been chosen as our first quarterly Care N’ Share non-profit for October through December! During the quarter, we will be learning about, celebrating, and supporting this worthy program that is spearheading a grass-roots, local solution to the problem of hunger in our community.
Food for Thought does so much, including providing 670 weekend food bags to school children every week, sponsoring a weekly farmer’s market, growing community gardens, holding workshops on food prep and gardening, managing a seed library, and so much more. You can check out all their projects on their website, wyomingfoodforthoughtproject.org. With so much going on, they have a virtually limitless number of opportunities for volunteers to help out. How does volunteering work? According to director Jamie Purcell, you let them know when you have time, and they find you something to do!
During our October 22nd service we heard from Food For Thought staff member Alyss Smith about the problem of hunger, what Food For Thought is doing about it, and how we can help. On November 8th, a number of UU’s helped pack food bags and performed other chores at Food For Thought, and enjoyed a great potluck meal! A number of UU Casper Care N Share activities are planned for October through December, including (so far!):
- Every Sunday: bring cans of soup each Sunday to help restock the pantry shelves. We’ll also share “Fun Facts” about Food for Thought.
- Sunday, December 3rd: “Share the Plate” Sunday. Any undesignated cash in the collection baskets will be donated by UU Casper to Food For Thought. You can also donate by check written to “Food for Thought.”
- December 2nd through 9th (Saturday to Saturday): UU Casper food drive for Food for Thought—boxes to be placed at east and west side Albertsons to gather donations of cereal and peanut butter for holiday food boxes to be distributed to Natrona County families in need. Just pick up an extra box of cereal or jar of peanut butter during your regular grocery shopping, and drop it in the box on your way out of the store!
- December 11th through 16th: Stuff the Van Toy Drive, east side Walmart. Food for Thought organizes this annual event to provide toys and other gifts for our Casper children and teens. The Mobile Market bus and Townsquare Media vans will be at the east side Walmart from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm all this week. You are encouraged to drop by, say “HI!” and donate a toy or other gift for children: babies all the way up to age 18. In past years, they’ve struggled with teen items, so suggestions include items like hygiene kits, makeup kits, headphones, and gift cards.
- December 13th, 4:00 pm: Join in to help pack Christmas vacation food boxes, or come earlier in the day to help prepare for the packing. Just show up at their location, 900 St. John, and they’ll put you to work!
If you have questions, or if you have other ideas for ways we can support Food for Thought this quarter, talk to any Membership Committee member (Alan Vandeventer, Tammy Dominguez, Laura Gossman), or email email@example.com
This last few months UU Casper has assisted many local non-profits, like:
- Child Development Center of Natrona County – March and April 2017 donations of craft and learning supplies
- Joshua’s Storehouse – January 2017 donations of soup
- Holy Cross Food Bank – December 2016 donations of holiday foods
- Casper College Goodstein Library and Food for Thought – November 2016 over 125 books donated to children’s book drive
- Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota – October 2017 donations of band-aids, lip balm, and children’s clothing
- Central Wyoming Rescue Mission – September 2016 donations to buy bus tokens for residents
- Casper Humane Society – April 2016 donations of dog and cat food, treats and toys
- Wyoming Food for Thought – March 2016 donations of food for local program to provide weekend meals for children
- Central Wyoming Rescue Mission – February 2016 donations for personal care bags
If you have questions, ideas or would like to get involved, please contact Laura Gossman, Membership Committee chairperson (307-259-4469) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Yard Sale
UU Casper held its first annual yard sale in August 2016, with proceeds benefitting the children’s Religious Exploration program, as well as two local charities, Wyoming Food for Thought and Seton House. The second annual yard sale in July 2017 was even more successful, with proceeds so far being used for beautification of the UU Casper sanctuary. Save your treasures for the next one!