The past few years have been tough for Richard. Financial hardship is a major stress for him; he does not have enough money to buy food, clothing, or other basic necessities. He is in dire need, and it is difficult to imagine where he and others might be without the help of New Journey Community Outreach (NJCO), a United Way Agency Partner. NJCO provides food and clothing to those in greatest need. In Richard’s words, “through New Journey and Miss Denise [NJCO Food Program Coordinator], my life is more manageable in more ways than I could ever say. They’ve fed me, given me the clothing on my back and the wheelchair that I’m sitting in… the things that this organization have done for me and my life are beyond anything. Denise is my angel.”
If it weren’t for United Way, Denise and the rest of the small staff at NJCO may have been forced to turn Richard away when the pandemic hit in March. Since the agency’s establishment in 2014, NJCO has offered hundreds of people daily hot meals, fellowship, and a place to sit for warmth in a banquet-hall-style soup kitchen. Throughout the years, volunteers have cooked and served meals; in-kind donors delivered soup and other prepared foods specifically catered to sit-down meals. When COVID-19 restrictions abruptly forced all of that to change, NJCO had to move quickly to serve the hungry in a new way. United Way recognized the need and provided funding to help NJCO make changes to prepare and distribute over 1,000 “grab and go” bagged lunches every week to feed the hungry.
While the food distribution routines are different, the need for nutritious daily meals has grown. For people like Richard, it is everything – – especially when served by staff and volunteers who share kindness and comfort during these uncertain times.
This is United Way and its partners making a difference and changing lives.