Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving is almost here...

...and we need help!  With over 870 households seeking assistance, we are stretched thinner than ever.  Even to get each household just a $20 gift card would be over $17,000!  If you can help, please go to our website.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thanks so much to Neelsville Presbyterian Church and the Letter Carriers Association's "Stamp Out Hunger" food drives!  They are much appreciated!

Our website was hacked again.  There seems to be some inside knowledge; we'll be changing our site altogether soon.  Thanks to everyone who let us know!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back on the Blog

After a long blog hiatus, we're back!  We've been communicating mostly through Facebook, but just in case you're not on Facebook much, we'll try posting here, too.

Thanks very much to Mother Seton Parish, Neelsville Presbyterian Church and United Church of Christ Seneca Valley for your recent food drives!  And Greenridge Baptist Church has been lending us part of a trailer for over a year now for overflow and records storage; this is a big, big help, since we haven't had to pay for a storage unit when big piles of food come in.

WE NEED A FRIDGE AND FREEZER!  If anybody has any ideas on the donation of a commercial refrigerator and/or freezer, please let us know at  A smallish commercial freezer, like the ones you see at 7-11 that hold a lot of milk, etc., would be terrific.  And it's past time to replace both the fridge and chest freezer in the pantry...

Thanks so much for your support!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Best Practices? Time to Review...

From time to time, some of our clients have expressed a sincere wish to support the work of Germantown HELP. Far from "feeling entitled," many of our clients are grateful and want to give back.

In the past, though, this really hasn't been possible. Historically, our work has been done by volunteers who go in and out of the pantry at odd times, have the security code and responsibility for the pantry as they volunteer. We had two main categories: The Volunteer and The Client.

Not only does this waste a potential source of willing workers, but it disrespects our clients. Why, because someone asks for help, do they become suddenly unworthy of trust? If they are interviewed, as any new volunteers are, and have good references, shouldn't they be able to become part of the organization? Can't some activity be structured to provide almost any of our clients the ability to give back?

Some organizations in the county shy away from using minors, even teenagers, to work for them. This is almost 100% true for any interaction with clients. We have found kids and young adults to be an excellent source of compassionate help. We're not foolish - they are supervised carefully, and given tasks appropriate to their age and abilities. But face it, they are stronger, more flexible, and usually more fun than most adults. They want to help and they want it to be meaningful. They are being raised to believe that they must get student service learning hours, that they should help in the community; but they are often banned from meaningful work. We wish we had more tasks we could share with them.

The old rule was that clients couldn't volunteer until they got back on their feet and didn't need our help any more, that it was sort of a conflict of interest. Perhaps, though, volunteering will provide a little more self-respect for our clients, and be just a little bit more helpful than bringing by a box of food from time to time.

Germantown HELP will be going out in the next few weeks and interviewing some of our regular clients (and some new ones, too), to see what their views on our organization are. We will be asking our many excellent and loyal volunteers their input, too. It's time, as we go into our worst-funded and busiest time of year, for a positive outlook and appreciation for everyone's potential contribution.

Best wishes,

Cindy Majane

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Here it comes... !

The Emergency Food Program is usually very busy in August and September. This year looks to be no exception: Today, we had 24 requests for help, which is way more than we can serve. We will probably be having some delivery marathons to catch up, it worked really well last year. We are seeing a lot more new households that have never requested help before, as well as more older adults raising their grandchildren on fixed incomes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Winter's Tale

Intrepid volunteer Raya McCree writes:

Winter blues are finally over…..This winter proved to be a challenging one as it relates to the blizzards…. Germantown HELP drivers Raya and Treava were determined to deliver during the 1-week blizzard. They were fighting the storm, resolved to bring food to clients, not allowing the weather to keep them from their goal. They were suddenly brought to a halt and became stuck in the snow………Fortunately, Raya’s son Dezmond (Seneca Valley High School Student) was able to flex his muscles along with Super Strong Treava, and they proceeded to push the car out of the snow up a hill and to a main road, while navigator Raya guided the car to smooth road…. Determined to finish the job they set out to do, they were able to complete two additional deliveries, pushing the car two additional times, turning the driving delivery into a pushing delivery. It was a true mission impossible that was interestingly yet successfully, pleasant.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feinstein Foundation Will Contribute If YOU Do!

The Feinstein Foundation will provide at least $250 and up to $40,000 in matching funds for money contributed to Germantown HELP between March 1 and April 30th. Spread the word!