The tons of food were helpful enough. Then the check arrived.
Diana Bernard, president of the Fort Mill Care Center, was caught Wednesday morning somewhere between wanting the group from Nation Ford High School to arrive and willing to wait a few moments longer.
“It could be more by the time it gets here,” she said. “It seems like it keeps increasing every time I hear from somebody.”
In all, the Nation Ford food drive brought in more than 6,000 pounds of food and $3,000 in cash donations.
“We chose the Fort Mill Care Center as our service project because our students wanted to work with an organization that gives back directly to our community,” said Kathy Seastead, science teacher and student council sponsor at Nation Ford. “Our work with the Fort Mill Care Center will be an annual effort.”
Nation Ford has been collecting for the Care Center for years, often as part of a larger competition. When one such event moved to the spring, Nation Ford kept its fall date since that time of year worked better. Which was just fine by the Care Center.
“This was a fabulous donation,” said Jeane Cassidy, pantry coordinator for the center. “It was fabulous timing.”
The drive ran Oct. 16 to Nov. 3, with items coming in throughout the event. The Care Center starts distributing special Thanksgiving items at the start of November, with Christmas not far behind it.
“It’s definitely needed,” Bernard said. “The community is getting their normal food orders. In addition, they’re getting the Thanksgiving meals. In December, they’ll also get Christmas meals. So it’s definitely needed, and highly appreciated.”
The Care Center is open until noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Getting such a “big infusion of food for Thanksgiving” in advance of the holiday is a big help, Cassidy said. The center will take off a day on either side of Thanksgiving, but otherwise will remain open for others wanting to help.
“We will reopen on the Monday following Thanksgiving, and we will actually start to give out Christmas dinners starting that Monday,” Cassidy said.
The collection should help a great many families in the greater Fort Mill area. It wasn’t a bad teaching opportunity for students, either.
“It was an incredible project for our students to be involved in, especially since they see that the all the donations directly benefit many families in Fort Mill,” Seastead said.
Want to help?
Turkeys and other holiday meal items are still being accepted. Donations of food and cash are alwyas welcomed by the Care Center. For more information, call 803-547-7620, go to fortmillcarecenter.org, or visit them Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m.-noon at 2760 Old Nation Road, Fort Mill. Checks can be mailed to: Fort Mill Care Center, PO Box 1401 Fort Mill, SC 29716-1401. Donations are tax deductable. Donation forms can be downloaded from the center’s website.