It’s that time again to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the New Year ahead. Sat here at the Eastleigh Basics Bank reflecting on 2019 for me brings a real sense of thankfulness, pride in our community and also hope for more in 2020.
It’s remarkable to me that when the local churches gathered a small group of volunteers to start a local food bank in 2011, nearly 9 years later we have now not only fed 18,500 people for a week, but continue to operate entirely through the hard work and dedication of volunteers! They are to my mind an amazing group of individuals, who faithfully give of their time, week in week out all year round to support those in our community facing very difficult circumstances.
On Christmas Eve, following the busiest week on record at our shop in Eastleigh, I managed to find a few hours to pop in and lend a hand. Something I don’t often get to do due to work commitments. I was immediately welcomed by a cheery bunch of volunteers, working hard whilst enjoying some festive banter! On reflection of my time with them the biblical passage from 2 Corinthians came to mind.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9 vs.7)
It made me think of how willingly and cheerfully not only our volunteers give their time but how enthusiastically the local community supports what we do.
Pride in our Community…
The Eastleigh Basics Bank relies not only on volunteers but a community of supporters. At the heart of that community are individuals that not only generously donate to us but who also champion us in their work places, schools, community groups, churches and local government positions. Then there are the charities, schools, housing associations, NHS and social services that refer local people to us for support. Sometimes even coming in to collect and deliver the food themselves.
Some may argue that it’s a shameful state of affairs that we should need a foodbank in this day and age. I would however argue that it should be a badge of community pride. It’s reflective of our community’s heart to work together and care for those in greatest need among us. It exists because we not only care, but actively, willingly and cheerfully support this church led, community fed project.
When I turned up on that Tuesday afternoon, I turned up willingly but not so much cheerfully, and I think that’s a common feeling when we give. But the cheerfulness comes when we reflect on what we have contributed to, when we see the bigger picture, when we can see the difference our small part has made to the greater good.
If you would like to see some stats explaining some of what we do, where the food goes, who we support, we have been posting a series of posts on our Facebook page which you can see even if you’re not on Facebook.
Finally on behalf of the Eastleigh Basics Bank and our clients, I would like to extend a huge thank you for all your support in 2019. I hope you will continue to support us in 2020 and enjoy a cheerful prosperous year ahead.
Eastleigh Basics Bank Chair
Contact Eastleigh Basics Bank
Eastleigh Basics Bank, Unit G6, Wells Place, Eastleigh, SO50 5PP
OPEN: 10am – 3pm Tuesdays and Thursdays
Tel. 07563 609 994
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