I recently headed a canned food drive for my alumni club as we tried to combine community service with our weekly gatherings to watch football. The food drive went well, but what caught me off guard was that while we thanked the participants, many of them thanked us back for the opportunity.
That response backs up my assertion that the toughest thing about being charitable is finding an outlet. There's a large percentage of the population that wants to do good works, they're just unsure of what needs to be done where.
Food drives are one way to easily help out in your community. Local co-ops and food pantries are constantly in need of supplies, so you are helping anytime you can donate. Again, it becomes a question of getting your donations to the correct place.
For those looking to take part in a larger drive, you can participate in the Gwinnett CAN Challenge sponsored by Holtkamp Heating and Air Conditioning. The company is sponsoring a food drive for local food banks, allowing customers to donate when visited by a technician.
As part of the CAN Challenge, you can also donate at the Daily Post's Taste of Home Cooking School, which is held Oct. 28 at the Gwinnett Center. As an enticement, there will be raffle prizes for those who donate. Donations can also be made at the Daily Post offices in Lawrenceville.
Items most needed are canned meats (chicken, spam, ham, ravioli), soups and canned fruits and vegetables as well as pasta, rice and cereal. In addition to food items, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and diapers are needed as are toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant and cleaning supplies like detergent and laundry soap.
If it's easier to donate directly to a co-op, do that. If you're headed to a co-op -- or to the Taste of Home show or the Daily Post offices -- offer to bring donations from your neighbors as well to save them a trip. Maybe you can even organize a neighborhood drive.
Whether it's a few cans of corn or a dozen boxes of cereal, every donation is helpful and appreciated. And as the people I interacted with this past weekend reminded me, it will give you a good feeling as well.
E-mail Todd Cline at email@example.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.