When I began this endeavor, I knew there would be support. What I didn't know was that there was going to be SUPPORT! What I had hoped would be one little school, has grown into one little one at Riviera Beach Elementary. and one really big one at Chesapeake High School. Rumor has it we may be adding a third! Shhhh....fingers crossed, but don't tell anyone.
After the creation of the social media pages, the website and filing all of the paper work (which was a massive undertaking and I couldn't have done it without the help of an amazing Board of Directors,) came the time to ask for support from the community. Support they did! Donations, initially paid for from my family funds, were quickly taking up every inch of my basement as one donation after another came in from friends and neighbors. Our Food Drive was an incredible success and pretty much stocked the Cupboard at Riviera Beach Elementary. We even received a huge donation of pet food from our friends at PetSmart. How cool is that? Ironically, our first request for food was for pet food!
Just last week, the most amazing day happened. After receiving a donation of 200 (not a typo,) mesh shopping bags, we received a $1,000 donation from the Civitan Club of Glen Burnie! As if that wasn't amazing enough, I received word from the Northeast High School Football Mom's that they were going to donate the canned goods they had been collecting at every home game to the Cupboard. Daily, I am receiving calls or emails from former athletes, students and folks I have never met, all wanting to donate to the Cupboard. The response has been overwhelming to say the least, but so appreciated.
In between all of this was finding local businesses to serve as "Donation Locations" for us. That's been as easy as asking for donations of food. To date, we have three up and running, a fourth, fifth and sixth will be added next week. As we expand locations, we'll also be expanding Donation Locations in those school's attendance area. Not once has a business said no. How awesome is that?
Our motto at Caring Cupboard is, "Filling the Cupboard Fills the Heart." I believe that to be true, but it's been the support of everyone that has filled mine. I thank you all.