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Benefactor gone, but 'Sharin' O' the Green' lives on for OCEF

February 19, 2014 - Brandon Twp.- Five years ago, a local man stepped forward to help those in need in the community by offering to match donations to OCEF.

The matching donation drive was dubbed "Sharin' O' the Green," as it was timed to coincide with St. Patrick's Day, and it has been very successful in raising funds for the food pantry during a time of year when donations are typically down.

Last June, the anonymous benefactor died, but his generosity lives on after he bequeathed money to the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund, expressly in the hopes that the "Sharin' O' the Green" would continue.

It will.

"Our generous benefactor passed away last year and he really cared about being able to stock the pantry," said Margaret Lee, OCEF treasurer. "He was aware of our monetary cycles. We get more donations at holiday time, from around the start of school until Christmas, then donations fall off. He wanted to do something to spur people's interest and get donations going again."

The benefactor matched up to $3,000 in donations from the community annually in March and the money he left will be used expressly for the purpose of continuing that tradition.

Lee said members of the community can look for collection jars starting this coming week adorned with shamrocks and marked "Sharin' O' the Green," at local businesses including The Citizen newspaper office, 12 South St.; Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union, 4 South St.; Papa Bella's Pizza, 425 Mill St., Ken's Coney Island, 100 S. Ortonville Road, and Bueche's Food World, 400 Ortonville Road.

Checks can also be made payable to OCEF, and mailed to PO Box 282, Ortonville MI 48462. Put "Sharin' O' the Green" in the memo line. Donations can also be made via Paypal account at www.oceffoodpantry.org.

OCEF has a client base of about 185 families and currently assists 120-135 families per month with food. Each family can visit once a month and pick up a week's worth of groceries, about seven bags of food for the average-sized family.

"The feedback we get from clients is that they are appreciative of being treated so nicely and personally," said Lee. "We are grateful to our kind benefactor and the community."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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