West Valley Food Pantry Toy Distribution
The West Valley Food Pantry in partnership with the National Charity League (NCL) had a very successful Christmas Toy Giveaway Dec 19th.
We provided toys to over 600 excited and happy children. This year’s event was made possible by the generous donations garnered by NCL volunteers from local businesses and organizations. In addition we received many additional donations from individuals and local businesses that found out about the event by locating us on Google. The Foundation For Global Sports Development – made a generous donation of $3600 to purchase bicycles for the kids.
Our heartfelt thanks to go out to all of the NCL and Pantry volunteers that made this event possible. Thank you for your generosity of time and money to bring joy to others during this holiday season!
A Message from the Chairman-
As we begin 2016, I am pleased to report the pantry starts the New Year in a strong financial position. While there were increased operating expenses and administrative costs required to fund new marketing initiatives and various administrative costs as compared to 2014; our net assets remain healthy. Thanks to the generous financial support of our individual donors and volunteers; response to our new marketing and branding initiative resulted in a very successful annual fundraiser and fund raising income is consistent with 2014 fund raising levels and has increased compared to prior years.
Your board of directors will be charting a strategic course in 2016 to examine opportunities to increase financial support and opportunities to expand the scope of services we provide to our clients and the community. This can be accomplished by developing our corporate sponsorship and partnership programs, expansion of community and government grants programs and the development of new fund raising opportunities.
As we grow as an organization, our goal is to improve communication channels and technology and continue to implement process improvements, staffing continuity and contingency plans and further develop volunteer and staff training.
2016 will be an exciting opportunity for you to participate in the growth of our organization and further develop the services of the West Valley Food Pantry. With your continued support and dedication we can reach our aspiration to be a “First in Class” organization as we follow our core values to Serve, Respect and Connect with our clients and community.
Happy New Year and Thank You for your Service!
From Debbie’s Desk (my State of the Pantry report)
Happy New Year to everyone! I’m really looking forward to another wonderfully successful year. This past year, our 30th year of operations has been pretty wonderful and together we have really worked miracles in many peoples’ lives. Over the past year we’ve raised more money, collected more donated food, gotten more supporters, revamped our logo and branding and… acquired a new storage unit. Not bad work for just 12 months!
In a perfect world, Food Pantries wouldn’t be needed but since they are, I’d say, we’re AWESOME! The economy is beginning to recover and our client numbers have dropped a little. Many of our low income families have found employment and are not quite as desperate for our food; however we’re seeing an increase in the number of seniors needing our help. I’m so glad the word is getting out into the community that we’re ready to help them.
You, our volunteers, make all the difference. Compassion, caring and a welcoming smile when someone is in need is the key to our existence. It’s hard for anyone to ask for help and YOU make the clients welcome. I want to say thank you to all of you for extending that smile, handshake or extra moment of understanding. It can be a bleak world out there BUT YOU make a difference! I also want to thank the NCL girls and moms. They have worked the backpack and toy drive and both have been a huge success! Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.
Cha-cha-cha- changes! Yes, their coming to the pantry! Over the next couple of months we’re going to be beta-testing our new database. We’ve been inputting all the information on the client cards into a computer database for the past year and now it’s time to try it out in the pantry. This will be taking place during the afternoon shifts to start with. Please assist the volunteers on the computers as we try to come up with a working process. It will take trial and error but I hope to be up and running in just a couple of months. The hope is that this will make it easier to process client information and get them in and out as quickly as possible!
THANK YOU CARDS - I’d like to remind everyone to please complete the In-Kind Donor cards COMPLETELY! This is the only way we can thank someone for bringing food and other items in to us and we need you to PRINT NEATLY and provide ALL the information on the cards. AND SIGN IT!!!! We want to be gracious and show gratitude to all who donate and we can’t do that if we don’t have the information.
I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and I thank you for giving of yourselves in service to others.
Community Outreach and Development Officer
It is absolutely essential that if you find you cannot fulfill your commitment to work any one of your shifts, that you get a substitute for yourself. A list of possible subs is included with your monthly schedule. The Pantry cannot open or operate efficiently without a minimum number of workers, so a replacement is absolutely necessary. We cannot have volunteers just not show up. Leaving a message on Schedulers' answering machines, leaving a message at the pantry, and/or an email to the Pantry website is not protocol, and will not provide you the necessary sub. The website is not regularly monitored and it is not within the Schedulers' scope of duties to find a sub for you. We understand that unforeseen things do occur, but it is your responsibility to find a replacement, so we ask that you please do so.
Please do remember also to have your requests for each upcoming month submitted by the 10th of the preceding month. The Schedulers need time to do the scheduling to have it completed before the end of the month so that you will know your definite assignments as soon as is possible.
It is absolutely essential that volunteers arrive about 15 minutes early to set up and to facilitate a smooth transition going into the afternoon and to plan to stay for the full shift and assist in closing in the afternoon.
Special Thank you to:
L.A. City Council Member Mitch Englander and Ron Rubine for the donations of 55 Turkeys and all the trimmings for our clients at Thanksgiving.
AND to three local Neighborhood Councils who have been generous in their support of the West Valley Food Pantry!
We’d like to thank the following:
Canoga Park Neighborhood Council for granting $2000.00
Woodland Hills/Warner Center Neighborhood Council for granting $1000.00
West Hills Neighborhood Council for granting $500.00
All these gifts from public officials in support of our Pantry! THANK YOU!!!!
The West Valley Food Pantry thanks the following companies for their generous contributions for the 2015 Annual Toy Drive:
The Foundation for Global Sports Development, Steven Ungerleider
A sizable grant for new bikes and helmets
Mountain Park Neighborhood, Cindy Reinecker
Viewpoint School, Cathy Adelman, Alice Kessler
Temple Kol Tikvah, Samantha Duenas
Woodland Hills Elementary School, Noelle Ikkanda
The Zenith Insurance Company, Tiffany Perkins
Woodland Hills Private School, Robin Gee
Magic Years Nursery School, Alice Leon
Motor Toys, Kathleen Doran
San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Linda Temkin
Boy Scout Troop 22, J.R. Lal
Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, Kathy Milbrand
Calabasas HS National Honor Society, Kathryn Heukrodt
Coldwell-Banker, Paula Weiser
Halstrom Academy, Gerilyn Valdez
43rd Church of Christ Scientist, Sally Griffin