This group of high school youths from across the county determined earlier in the fall that they would give a $1,000 grant to the non-food pantry to purchase essential items and then see, firsthand, what impact their grant would have by working at the pantry themselves.
"I feel that this grant was important because non-food needs are usually overlooked," said Youth Philanthropy Committee member Amber Miner. "I didn't realize how much time these ladies put into this and how hard they have to work to keep their pantry going."
The Non-Food Pantry offers cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, cosmetics, personal hygiene items and more that are not covered by food stamps or other programs. These items are often costly and can greatly improve a person's standard of living.
The Youth Philanthropy Committee reviews grant applications from local youths wanting to make a difference in their community through service projects, but also conduct service themselves when they see a pressing need.
After discussing the many possibilities and places they could spend their time and grant funding, they determined the non-food pantry would make the biggest impact during the tough economic times and holiday season.
The committee members loaded items purchased with their grant onto trucks from the local stores, unloaded the items at the pantry, sorted them into bags for the recipients, and then staffed the pantry on the Dec. 26 distribution day.
"This project supports local families who need and deserve our help," said Hilary Schroeder, YP Committee member. "Helping others is not only rewarding, it can be a lot of fun too."
Youth interested in receiving a grant for their service project idea may submit a simple grant application, which is found at www.pcfoundation.org. Deadlines are the first of each month and applicants are encouraged to discuss projects with Community Foundation staff to determine eligibility. High school-aged youths interested in applying to be a member of the committee may do so in the spring.
For questions about the Youth Philanthropy program or its grants, please contact Eric Wolfe, Community Development Director, at 653-4978.