CLRVR SMH Food Drive Back Story

by | Apr 4, 2024 | Stories

2023 was the “inaugural” (of recent years) St. Matthews House (SMH) Food Drive at Crystal Lake RV Resort.  I wrote about some of its challenges in the following link.  https://www.sylleecreations.com/clrvr-food-drive-the-rest-of-the-story/

2024 had its own challenges for the 2nd Annual Food Drive.  I love a challenge and having a purpose.

  • Could I create an effective and informative Food Drive marketing communication?  Last year Margaret D. suggested a bookmark which worked well.  I designed, printed them on our home printer, cut them by hand, and distributed them anywhere and any way we could think of.  This year I worked with Liz @ SMH to design and create the 2-sided post card.  Mailbox distribution was efficient and effective along with posting them in traffic areas such as the resort laundry rooms.  SMH doesn’t have any printing budget, so I elected to have them professionally printed because they were 2-sided, and other personal priorities were coinciding and competing with this effort.
  •  I wracked my brain to create the postcard and campaign slogan, “Where RV and Park Homes Roll & Hearts Overflow.”
  • Wouldn’t it be great if we could do even better than 2023?!  CLRVR generously filled 4 bins last year.  Could CLRVR fill 5 bins in 2024?  How many gaylord bins should we request from SMH?
  • Fingers crossed that the timing of the campaign would coincide well with when people could donate items cleaned out of their kitchen cupboards when preparing to leave the resort for the season.
  • Fingers crossed that Publix would have lots of good Buy One Get One deals near the food campaign date.
  • Fingers crossed that people would not spend all their discretionary funds prior to our food drive.
  • Could I create interesting Food Drive reminders often enough to remind; but not annoy?  Oh well, I can’t worry about being a nuisance.  Helping those with food insecurities is more important. The price of groceries has increased so much since Covid arrived in 2020.  CLRVR Social Rec support to announce and promote this event was also very helpful.
  • Would the bins be delivered and placed exactly on time like 2023?
  • Would the torrential rain stop long enough for people to make their donations?
  • Would people act on our offers to shop and pick up donations for them in the event of rain or any other deterrent?
  • Could we get some shopping done despite the wind and rain?
  • Would the bins be picked up exactly on time like 2023? *

*As it turned out, the Pelican Bay area in Naples had a food drive on the same day.  SMH is down a truck due to budget constraints and the Pelican Bay needed the “big” truck for their 40 bins more than the 4-5 bins at CLRVR.  A cargo van was dispatched to CLRVR; but didn’t look nearly large enough to accept the 4 overflowing bins of food collected from CLRVR residents.

*There were two guys and a van; but more manpower was needed to overcome this bin pick-up glitch.  How would we get the bins unloaded , large gaylord bins collapsed and loaded, and street A-frame signs collected and loaded with our limited manpower, some physical limitations, and in a timely manner?  Normally there’s forklift like equipment involved.

*Fortunately, the rain had subsided.  And, almost like lightening happens, some “angels” (the Schmitz family, Nancy & Al K) appeared and without hesitation or solicitation started helping to unload the bins of food into the van.  Liz, Scott, the two SMH van guys, and I dug in, too.   We were sure we would be making multiple trips to the SMH food warehouse with the van; but Al had incredible packing skills.  He fit everything in the van and the back of Liz’s truck like a pro. How did Matt S. just happen to have some cargo straps to help contain things in the bed of the truck?  Everything was amazing!

All this happened and a very successful 2024 CLRVR SMH concluded on March 22, 2024.  It gives me great pride to share pictures showing the magnitude of the CLRVR residents overflowing hearts.

The results below were provided to the CLRVR community on 4/1/24.  It was Not an April Fool’s joke!  No surprise that I’m already making plans for 2025.

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