A word from our President, Ryan Ragsdale:
Over the last two years, a lot of people have shared great ideas with me, about things they think that Love Thy Neighbor ought to do. Typically in the form of
“Hey, you know what you should do? You should ________.”
My response is typically:
“Great idea! How are you going to make it happen?”
“Sounds like an interesting experiment, let me know how it goes.”
Point being, I encourage people to take ownership of their ideas, because
A) my plate is full,
B) they’ve probably put some thought into it already, and
C) I want to grow leaders, not followers or good-idea-fairies.
The great and amazing thing is, over the last two years we have had so many people step up. Some of them have taken a responsibility off my plate, made it theirs, and started doing it way better. Others have taken the lead on something completely new. We are growing leaders, tremendous leaders, and we’re starting to see amazing results.
I want to list a few leaders who make Love Thy Neighbor work:
* Kelly: Ensuring we have enough food on ALL the pantry days.
* Michelle: You enjoy a clean food pantry? Thank Michelle.
* Melissa: Taking on donor relations and SO many other things.
* Kayla: You seen our awesome Facebook posts recently? That’s Kayla.
* Valerie: Leading and innovating improvements for Saturdays.
* Kelley: Bringing our volunteer management into the 21st century.
* Miriam: Running the show on Sundays.
Most of them do additional things that I haven’t mentioned here. If you see one of them, please thank them. And then offer to help them!!!
Keeping this pantry running takes a lot of love, a bit of patience, a fair amount of wisdom, a good chunk of money …
and absolutely huge amounts of time.
Check out page 3 of our Spring Newsletter to get an idea of how much gets done every week by our volunteers. Just reading it is enough to make you tired. And we didn’t have enough space to list everything!
So this Spring Newsletter is dedicated to our volunteers, both the leaders mentioned above, and those that I wasn’t able to list but who always show up week after week, month after month, giving their time to help their neighbors.
You all are just the best.
– Ryan (Chief Servant-Leader, LTN)
You can now order your very own Love Thy Neighbor Official merchandise from our online store! Orders are printed on-demand and shipped directly to your home. All proceeds from sales go directly to support your community food pantry!
Thank you to everyone for your donations and support since we started this venture in 2012 – we couldn’t do it without you!
The Big Heart Award!
Attention weekend Walmart shoppers!
You’ll find it’s easier than ever on Saturday the 25th to help another family by donating to your community food pantry! Volunteers will be on site with lists of current pantry needs, so when you go in to shop, you can easily pick up something to share and drop it off as you leave!
When: Saturday, March 25 11:00am-3:00pm
Where: Dahlgren Walmart
Thank you for supporting your community food pantry!
Plus, a word from the president, New Year’s Day 2023:
In 2022, Love Thy Neighbor provided free groceries, from our shopper’s choice food pantry, to everyone who came to us. Our neighbors made shopping trips to LTN more than 8,000 times this past year.
I heard comments like “I can’t believe this is here. I can’t believe this is free.” And “I wish the food pantries in Fredericksburg were like this.” (I’m a little bit proud about that one.)
But my favorite comment was “When we’re here, we always feel like family.”
I’m so incredibly proud, of all our volunteers, for making Love Thy Neighbor an inclusive, loving, welcoming, and friendly place.
Keeping this place running requires an insanely ridiculous amount of time. Our volunteers could be spending their time watching TV, or going out with friends, or making money, or hiking to waterfalls.
They choose instead to use precious hours of their lives unloading trucks, stocking shelves, mopping floors, delivering food to shut-ins, directing traffic, carrying boxes, picking up from grocery stores, checking freezer temperatures, distributing food, doing our taxes, checking inventory, and greeting customers with love.
To our volunteers: I love all of you so much, and I look forward to another year of being encouraged, delighted, and inspired by you.
To the not-yet-volunteered: come check the place out! We still have lots of room for growth – maybe your talent or your spirit is just what we need.
And to all of our supporters in the community, as always, THANKS!!! We couldn’t do it without you.
Let’s keep being awesome in 2023.