Adds 55+ Seniors Group to Food Pantries, Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots Recipients in December.
Stage Coach Players (SCP) put a complete Thanksgiving dinner on the tables of over 114 local families through their partnership with the Salvation Army (SA). Through the month of December, SCP will continue to collect non-perishable donations for local food pantries, new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine’s Toys for Tots, distribute the wishes of local children hung from their SA Angel tree, and have added the 55 and Older Group from the Family Service Agency (FSA) for whom they are collecting gift cards, blankets, socks, and gloves that will be distributed to local nursing homes and assisted care centers.
“Initially, I was planning to set our goals at 25,” said Jan Kuntz, SCP COVID-19 Task Force member, “but after talking with the Salvation Army and realizing the incredible need that exists in our community for both food and kindness, I quadrupled our commitment immediately.”
According to DeKalb County Community Gardens, 20% of the children in DeKalb County are food insecure, and 14% of adults – meaning, on average, in an elementary school class of 25 in our county, five will lack consistent access to enough food for an active healthy life.
To help alleviate the growing need, the SCP COVID-19 Task Force has been hosting food drives and fabric giveaways since last April. Collected items are distributed to local food pantries. Fabric is given away for free to local makers, and completed masks are sometimes donated back and available at no cost.
The donation drives take place every Tuesday at SCP, 126 S. Fifth St. in DeKalb, from 4 to 6 p.m.
“This is an unprecedented time, and many of us are struggling to make sense of our every day,” said Angela Schiola, SCP COVID 19 Task Force Member and current Vice President. “These food and fabric drives make a difference in the lives of those requiring help, but also reminds those who can offer help that they can make a difference, no matter the size. One can of peas may not seem like much, but when 1,000 people donate single cans of vegetables, that small spark of generosity transforms into a bright light.”
“We all need a little of that light in 2020,” said Gloria Dennison, SCP COVID-19 Task Force member. “I went shopping with my husband for the food drive right before Thanksgiving, and it was a delight watching how much joy that shopping trip brought him. There are many ways to make a difference.”
On Mon, Nov. 23, 2020, Gary Billings, SA Food Pantry Coordinator, and a volunteer came to SCP to pick up the boxes. Each SA Thanksgiving Food box included a reusable grocery bag, a gift card for a turkey, two cans of fruit, four cans of vegetables, stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, a can/bottle of gravy or gravy mix, and a boxed dessert mix.
Donations collected in December will be distributed to the DeKalb County Community Gardens, Rochelle Christian Food Pantry, Barb Food Mart, and the Salem Lutheran Church.
“We are a community theatre who cannot put on shows,” said Schiola. “We had to move all eight of our regular season shows to 2021 and have been relegated to ‘waiting in the wings.’ Since primarily being a stage manager during production and seeing the eagerness on our cast, team and patrons faces, I can attest that it has been hard waiting for all. But we have been so lucky to have such patient and understanding patrons. Our awesome performers and productions crews are still giving us things to look forward to, just in a virtual way now.”