“Nothing succeeds like success.” I’ve heard that before, not sure from where.
That statement, as cliché as it is, implies that success breeds further success. And no local project could be a better example of that than the The Fillin’ Station in Guyton.
Started by Guyton Christian Church at the location of an old gas station, The Fillin’ Station is part of the Food Outreach Cooperative of Effingham (FORCE).
Also known as Guyton Community Food Pantry, The Fillin’ Station feeds somewhere between 175 and 200 families per month. That’s families, not persons. The average weight of food provided for each person is 20 pounds; 80 pounds of food for a typical family of four.
And it’s not just food The Fillin’ Station provides. They also give each family a hygiene bag that includes many items such as toiletries and soap – things that cannot be purchased with food stamps.
“We have to take care of our own,” says Bobbie Secich, coordinator of volunteers. “It is sad that there are so many people right here in need of food just to feed their families.”
Secich also points to seniors in our community. “Many times they have to decide between medicine and food. Our mission is to address their need for food.”
“If you do good, then you will do well.” I’ve heard that before also, not sure from where though.
But doing well, The Fillin’ Station has done!
So well, they have just plain run out of room. “We are so stretched in there for space. We don’t have space to expand, and have been looking for another space for a while,” says Secich.
Enter Dr. Michael Moore. Sure, you remember him. Long-time beloved superintendent of schools. Funny how “difference-makers” never really retire!
Dr. Moore approached the school board about possibly moving The Fillin’ Station to the large kitchen of the old high school turned middle school, which has been vacant for some time.
After his presentation and a discussion, the school board voted to allow The Fillin’ Station to use the kitchen space. A very good (and compassionate) call for a few reasons.
First, this is not a church-state issue. The Fillin’ Station is a non-profit community food pantry. A religious commitment may inspire many of its volunteers, but the Fillin’ Station itself is not a religious organization.
Second, the old school was vacant and in need of work. Money was paid by those supporting The Fillin’ Station to the school board so the freezer and refrigeration unit could be brought back to working order, and a fresh coat of paint could be applied to the interior.
Secich and her volunteers are excited. “We are blessed! We have a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler, and a large pantry space with shelving for storage – something we have never had before!”
As The Fillin’ Station transitions to their new digs, consider how you might become part of their success. Do you want to feel like you are making a real difference in someone’s life? If so, give them a call (Bobbie, 912-667-1663; Guyton Christian, 912-772-3478). You’ll be surprised at what just a few volunteers hours per week will do for you.
But, here is what strikes me even more than that: Isn’t this exactly the way a community is supposed to work? Yes, it is. Every single one of us, regardless of a secular or religious orientation, has a moral obligation to care for those in need. And the best way to do that is by joining all our best resources together and being creative.
There’s another statement I have heard before, and it drives me:
“’Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
I’m pretty sure I know who said that one though.