Published August 6, 2009
Last month, the members of Trilogy at Redmond Ridge came together as a community to help those in need. They had heard about the major food shortages at local Hopelink food banks, and about the desperate need for increased donations to restock the shelves. They responded to this call for community help with action, energy, and passion. With member Molly Boll coordinating the community efforts, over 100 Redmond Ridge neighbors volunteered their time on the morning of July 15th to collect food from over a thousand generous Redmond Ridge households. I recently spoke with Molly about the tremendous community spirit and generosity that was shown through the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive. In the interview below, she shares the details of this hugely successful and inspiring event.
Molly, can you describe the atmosphere at the kickoff event for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive?
I sensed a great community spirit among all of the approximately 110 people in attendance. The event was held outside in front of our Tour Center Sales Office, and the mood was festive. We hung a “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” sign on the large Hopelink truck that would be holding and transporting the donated food. There were balloons and beautiful flowerpots arranged around the area, as well as a “Welcome to Trilogy” sign greeting those who were visiting our community for the first time that day. We also had several bags of food – the first donations for this food drive – arranged on a table to get the volunteers excited and ready for the task ahead. Shea Homes provided coffee, fruit drinks, water, donut holes, and a few other goodies to start the day off on the right foot. QFC Redmond Ridge supplied a picnic lunch for after the food collection, which included fresh fruit trays, roll-up sandwich trays, and dessert trays. All 110 volunteers also received cold water bottles to stay hydrated during the collection. All in all, we felt well taken care of during our food drive.
What were some of the highlights of the kickoff event?
I’d like to thank all of the speakers who kicked off the event, including Richard Obernesser, Area Vice President – Washington Shea Homes, Inc.; Hank Myers, Redmond City Councilman; Ryan Comer, QFC Redmond Ridge Store Manager; Debra Grant, Director of Client Services, Hopelink; Scott Milne, Center Manager and Food Program Manager, Hopelink – Redmond; and Debra Strauss, Center Manager, Hopelink – Carnation. I spoke first, welcoming the food drive volunteers and thanking them for their energy and enthusiasm. Next, Mr. Obernesser thanked the Redmond Ridge members for their generosity, and praised the passion of the members in giving back to the community at large. Mr. Myers, who represented the Redmond Mayor’s office, said that he was proud to witness such a great community of neighbors helping other neighbors. He then made a personal donation of $100 to the cause. Mr. Comer of Redmond Ridge QFC (grocery store) stated that he was honored to be speaking to us, and that QFC was proud to be partnering with us for this first Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive, and that they hoped to be a large part of any food drives we might have in the future.
What did the speakers from the Hopelink Food Banks share with the crowd of volunteers?
Ms. Grant, Director of Client Services, moved us all with a story about a woman who had never had to accept help before. She was incredibly embarrassed by her situation and felt badly taking food from Hopelink. In times like these when so many hard-working people are losing their jobs, people who never thought they would need to go to a food bank suddenly depend on them as a source of survival. Ms. Grant said that these were the stories that touched everyone’s hearts, and she thanked us for being such a caring community.
Mr. Milne and Ms. Strauss stated how much they enjoyed working with our group, and how much their clients would appreciate our efforts. They also added that our food drive came at a particularly good time, as the food banks see an increased need for food during the summer months, when children do not have the opportunity to receive breakfast at school.
(Article continued on page 2.)