Lend­ing a help­ing hand

Ne­wark­ers help neigh­bors have a bet­ter Thanks­giv­ing

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By BROOKE SCHULTZ [email protected]­pub.com

The dozens of bags filled with food that lined the side­walk out­side of White Clay Creek Pres­by­te­rian Church were wait­ing for pick up Tues­day even­ing.

Dozens of vol­un­teers gath­ered Thanks­giv­ing meals for 30 fam­i­lies, help­ing 50 adults and 91 chil­dren, said Katie Melville, who spear­headed the drive.

“It’s just a huge bless­ing for us to be a part of,” Melville said. “I have to tell you, it’s not just about the food. It’s re­ally a great min­istry and it’s a great way to come to­gether as a church fam­ily.”

Church mem­bers helped so­cial work­ers load up their cars so they could de­liver the meals to the fam­i­lies Tues­day night.

“Peo­ple al­ways need food any­where you are,” said Nancy Aup­perle. “It’s a bless­ing to us to give back just a lit­tle of what we have.”

Mary Jo Kulp con­curred. “It’s nice to be able to help out when you have plenty and other peo­ple don’t, es­pe­cially this time of year,” she said as she checked over which dona­tions had been re­ceived. “God re­minds us to share.”

The White Clay Creek Pres­by­te­rian Church food drive was just one ex­am­ple of the char­i­ta­ble ef­forts oc­cur­ring through­out Newark in prepa­ra­tion for Thanks­giv­ing this year.

Statewide, the Food Bank of Delaware dis­trib­uted over 2,500 Thanks­giv­ing boxes and tur­keys through a net­work of part­ners last week, said Kim Turner, a spokes­woman for the food bank.

“It seems like ev­ery­body in the com­mu­nity is reach­ing out to help dur­ing this time of year,” she noted.

A num­ber of dif­fer­ent drives helped ben­e­fit the Food Bank this sea­son – the city of Newark col­lected non-per­ish­able dona­tions at city hall to sup­port the food bank’s “Thanks­giv­ing for All” cam­paign, and DART held sev­eral Stuff the Bus ini­tia­tives through­out Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber.

Natalie Gins­berg, 17, marked her 10th con­sec­u­tive year of do­nat­ing to the Food Bank.

When she was about 6, she saw lo­cal news­pa­per cov­er­age of Delaware Does More, an in­tia­tive ask­ing peo­ple do­nate for the hol­i­day.

With her up­bring­ing in her child­care cen­ter and her tem­ple – which em­pha­sized the “giv­ing of lov­ing kind­ness” – Gins­berg felt com­pelled to do some­thing to help.

She has a sim­ple rea­son for why she keeps with it: “There’s no rea­son to stop,” she said.

“When peo­ple talk about vol­un­teer­ing, they talk a lot about how much it ful­fills them, which is to­tally true, but it’s also just more, for me, more of an in­cli­na­tion to help peo­ple in need, and that’s never re­ally faded. So there’s no rea­son to stop,” she ex­plained.

In 10 years, she has en­listed the help of friends and neigh­bors, col­lect­ing nearly 6,000 pounds worth of food.

“I guess, be­side the fact that I don’t know if I’d be able to con­duct it all on my own, it’s im­por­tant to me, be­cause I think that ev­ery­one that I know, ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity, should re­al­ize that, with gen­eros­ity and with some ef­fort, you can make a dif­fer­ence,” she said.

A se­nior at Newark Char­ter School, Gins­berg is an of­fi­cer for the Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety.

“One of the four pil­lars of that is ser­vice,” she said. “I’m an of­fi­cer there, and one of my roles is to en­cour­age other stu­dent ser­vice, so I guess this is just one way of do­ing that.”

Look­ing ahead to­ward col­lege, Gins­berg said she’s in­ter­ested in so­cial-psy­chol­ogy and an­thro­pol­ogy.

“I think that real em­pa­thy comes from un­der­stand­ing val­ues of oth­ers, and the be­liefs of oth­ers. And know­ing that you have to look at more than your im­me­di­ate sur­round­ings,” she said, ad­ding that seems to tie in nicely with her goals of do­nat­ing to the food bank.

She added that any­one can do some­thing.

“It’s not ex­clu­sive to me,” she said. “It might seem unattain­able at first but no mat­ter how triv­ial a do­na­tion might feel, I think it’ll be ap­pre­ci­ated by any­one. And I think that could serve as a mo­ti­va­tion for any­one in the com­mu­nity to give back.”

Though Thanks­giv­ing is over, Turner noted that dona­tions don’t have to stop af­ter the hol­i­day.

“I know that at the hol­i­days, we’re al­ways look­ing out for our neigh­bors in need,” she said. “I want to re­mind peo­ple that hunger ex­ists year round. We’re de­pen­dent on the sup­port of the com­mu­nity, not only dur­ing the hol­i­days, but af­ter. Food drives de­crease in Jan­uary, so I hope peo­ple will think about their hun­gry neigh­bors in need all year long.”

Over at White Clay Creek Pres­by­te­rian, they’re al­ready gear­ing up for the rest of the year: an as­sort­ment of new coats was piled atop a ta­ble in the church, await­ing de­liv­ery to the re­cip­i­ents of their next drive.

NEWARK POST PHOTO BY BROOKE SCHULTZ

Mem­bers of White Clay Creek Pres­by­te­rian Church do­nated in­gre­di­ents for a Thanks­giv­ing din­ner and helped or­ga­nize the meals to be dropped off Tues­day night.

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