Manna gives thanks!

Manna on Main Street hosts an­nual vol­un­teer recog­ni­tion event

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Bradley Schlegel bschlegel@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

About a year ago, shortly af­ter Manna on Main moved to its new lo­ca­tion at 713 W. Main St., the or­ga­ni­za­tion asked for vol­un­teers to an­swer the phone.

Dee Bo­gin­sky, a vol­un­teer with a pro­fes­sional back­ground in cus­tomer ser­vice and sales, called the task a SHUIHFW fiW.

From 1 to 5 p.m. ev­ery Thurs­day, the Lans­dale res­i­dent an­swers calls from clients, po­ten­tial clients and peo­ple seek­ing as­sis­tance for a mul­ti­tude of is­sues.

Bo­gin­sky said some are look­ing for in­for­ma­tion, and oth­ers seem des­per­ate to keep their elec­tric­ity on.

“We don’t ever turn any­one away,” she said. “Even if peo­ple are call­ing from out­side our re­gion, I al­ways make sure to point them in the right di­rec­tion.”

Bo­gin­sky, who re­tired af­ter 41 years work­ing for Ver­i­zon, has been vol­un­teer­ing at Manna for 18 months.

“I just love help­ing peo­ple,” she said.

For Richard De­Si­pio, vol­un­teer­ing at Manna’s food SDnWUy KHOSV fiOO KLV nHHG WR in­ter­act with peo­ple.

As a phar­ma­cist in the North Penn re­gion, De­Si­pio said he liked chat­ting with cus­tomers.

For three-and-a-half hours each week, the West Nor­ri­ton res­i­dent helps or­ga­nize the pantry.

“I like talk­ing to clients,” said De­Si­pio, a for­mer Lans­dale res­i­dent. “I like hear­ing their sto­ries, and I like help­ing them out.”

Su­san O’Neill says a IRUWuLWRuV finDnFLDO VLWuDWLRn has al­lowed her to vol­un­teer at Manna’s food pantry for the last thre-and-a-half years.

Ac­cord­ing to O’Neill, the re­cent sale of a busi­ness that she and her hus­band had owned put the Soud­er­ton res­i­dent in a po­si­tion where she doesn’t have to work.

So she spends three hours a week help­ing to or­ga­nize the pantry.

“It feels good help­ing oth­ers,” O’Neill said. “As far as I’m con­cerned, we’ve got to watch out for each other. And that way we’ll all be able to get through some tough times.”

ASSURxLPDWHOy 60 YROun­teers at­tended the an­nual recog­ni­tion event April 18, ac­cord­ing to Suzan Neiger GRuOG, 0DnnD’V HxHFuWLYH di­rec­tor.

Be­tween 700 and 800 vol­un­teers who worked for the nRnSUR­fiW UHFHLYHG Dn LnYLWD­tion, ac­cord­ing to An­thony Tarzia, its vol­un­teer co­or­di­na­tor.

“We’re thank­ing the vol­un­teers for what they do,” he said.

The tasks com­pleted by Manna vol­un­teers cover a wide gamut, ac­cord­ing to Neiger Gould. She said they in­clude ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties, data en­try, re­cep­tion, stock­ing and sort­ing food, serv­ing food to clients, pre­par­ing food and wash­ing dishes.

“There’s no way we could keep the doors open with­out them,” Gould said. “They keep this place go­ing.”

The vol­un­teers come from mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties through­out Mont­gomery County and be­yond, ac­cord­ing to Scott Lukens, Manna’s build­ing as­sis­tant.

He said they in­clude peo­ple of all ages, sta­tions and of­ten in­clude youth and high school sports teams.

Above, Events and Food Out­reach Man­ager Julie McCabe, left, and as­sis­tant case man­ager Teri Martin plate fresh pret­zels.

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