Volunteers helping ‘good cause’

December 20, 2018

The volunteers who were loading boxes of goodies into vehicles Tuesday morning in Norfolk were there for one important reason: “To help others.”

That was the resounding answer given by person after person when asked why they were at St. John’s Lutheran Church stacking boxes of food onto carts and hauling the boxes to waiting vehicles so more volunteers could deliver them to people in need.

“We’re serving the community,” said Ron Skiff, one of the volunteers helping at the Norfolk Area Good Neighbors distribution day Tuesday.

He was joined by John Burns in representing Norfolk’s Morning Kiwanis group. Neither could remember specifically how long Kiwanis members had helped with delivery day, “but it’s been a long time,” Burns said.

The annual Good Neighbors fund drive provides assistance to the less fortunate during the holiday season and throughout the year. A project of the Norfolk Ministerial Association, the drive is sponsored by the Daily News.

Every year, shortly before Christmas, volunteers pack and deliver boxes of food, household goods, such as laundry detergent, and, in some cases, gifts to people who have applied for assistance.

Which is why the fellowship hall at St. John’s Lutheran Church was buzzing with activity Tuesday morning.

This year, 128 families received a ham, vegetables, fruit and canned goods, said Allene Johnson, Good Neighbors coordinator.

Many of the volunteers who helped pack boxes Monday and deliver them Tuesday were seasoned veterans, Johnson said. She credits them for making delivery day run smoothly.

“The volunteers are awesome,” she said. “They know best how to get things done.”

Mike Frank, who was handing out jugs of laundry detergent, was there for the same reasons as the other volunteers.

“I’m just giving back ... and helping families,” he said.

So was Carol Severa, who was making sure delivery people knew where they were going and that they had the right products.

“It’s a good cause,” Severa said of the Good Neighbors campaign. “We’re going to make a lot of people happy.”

Johnson was happy, too.

“I’m overwhelmed that this organization can survive on donations and volunteers,” she said. “It blows my mind.”

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