A very successful food drive is 11,500 pounds of food. Thank you, Lebanon, The food drive was a success because of all the people who voluntarily to do the time to leave food in or beside their mailbox May 14. Generous donors are what keep this food drive going after 24 years.
And thanks to all the letter carriers, city and rural, who had an extra long work week, delivering cards and bags to their customers as they delivered the mail and picking up bags of food. These people are dedicated to their customers on their mail route and their community – stepping in to help when they have the opportunity.
For several years, we have been blessed to have Crossroads Church send us volunteers to help where needed on the day of the food drive. And this year we also had volunteers from Legacy in Mt. Juliet helping, too.
This year, we want to give a special thank you to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for all their help. Sheriff Robert Bryan has done so much to keep the work bus program alive. This program allows inmates to help us on this day. They arrive at the Wilson County Community Help Center that morning and help unload food, open plastic bags and sort and box the food and stack it in the storage area. Lt. Dunn and Officer Sullivan were as a part of this group who worked together as a team with smiles and laughter all day.
All was going good until about 3:30 p.m. when we thought our day was getting close to an end and an unexpected event put everyone working hard on a new project. The garage area where we all worked and walked back and forth through had an overhead loft style storage room. And it fell. Everyone, thankfully, was outside unloading food, and no one was hurt. But now there were boxes of books, thrift and holiday decorations that were about to fall. The whole upstairs storage area was now on a slant, and there were electrical lines that had excessive weight on them. It was such a scary looking mess. But thankfully standing right there were a group of men who were willing to work together as a team and do what needed to be done.
One of our teenage volunteers, Blake Billings, who had already picked up bags of food all day, fortunately had extra boards in the parking lot that morning. The boards were the answer to bracing up this storage room to take the pressure off the electrical lines and making it safe to put things back in order. Blake brought the boards in, and he stayed and helped with all the extra work, too.
First, we had a human chain of guys that handed off boxes of books to remove most of the weight. Then there were boxes of Christmas decorations that had to come down, too, and be restacked. That took sheer manpower to lift the overhead floors back up and hammer and nails to secure the boards to help hold everything back in place.
Then there was another chain with guys lined up to move all the boxes of food that had just been stacked under this earlier that day. By now, it’s nearly 8 p.m., and our heroes of the day have missed their supper. The help center had fed them lunch earlier and was now feeding them again – such a small price to pay for such hard work. Thank heaven we had the right people at the right place at the right time. Special thanks goes to the work crew of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
Retired letter carrier Millie Heston