Source: Sherman Publications

News
OCEF: Sharin’ o’ the Green returns at a ‘desperate’ time

by Susan Bromley

February 20, 2013

An anonymous benefactor has stepped forward once again offering to match donations from the community up to $3,000 to the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund food pantry.

The matching funds drive has been dubbed “Sharin’ o’ the Green” due to its proximity to St. Patrick’s Day. This will be the fourth year the donor has made the offer and it could not come at a better time, says OCEF Food Pantry Director Karyn Milligan.

“We are in a desperate situation,” said Milligan. “The pantry is in jeopardy, because the funds are not coming in like they did in the past and it’s a lot more money each month to keep the pantry supplied.”

The non-profit organization is feeling the pinch of an ever-increasing number of clients seeking assistance. OCEF expects to serve at least 200 families, more than 750 individuals who reside within the Brandon School District boundaries, during the Easter distribution next month. Easter is a particularly difficult time of year for the food pantry. While OCEF receives a lot of attention prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas, many of their volunteers and donors are snowbirds who leave the area for warmer climates during the winter.

“The benefactor appeared out of nowhere and knew what we needed and has the funds to help us in that way,” said OCEF Treasurer Margaret Lee. “He knows that people like to match funds and has helped us before. Unfortunately as time goes on, things flatten out and we need to get things moving again!”

Lee was delighted on Tuesday as she received the first donation that will be matched— from a former Ortonville resident who now lives in Florida.

“We are working diligently to find alternate funding,” said Milligan. “I won’t let the pantry go down. It is the heart of this community for people who experience ongoing troubles or a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

OCEF is currently sending out letters to local businesses asking if they will be a food collection site for the community. Sharin’ O’ the Green money collection jars have already been placed around the community and can be found at 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. Donations can also be made via Paypal account at

www.oceffoodpantry.org.

Donations sought for the Easter distribution include non-perishables such as canned fruit, vegetables and soup, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, tuna fish, cake mix and frosting, Jell-O, pudding, egg dye, candy, paper towels and toilet paper. Drop off food donations prior to the food sort at noon, March 24 (Palm Sunday) at St. Anne Catholic Church, 825 S. Ortonville Road. Easter food distribution is the following day. If you would like to volunteer, contact Karen Kubik at 248-627-3965, ext. 102, or e-mail ocef@churchofstanne.org.

“This community is the greatest and best and most generous and they have always come through and I know they will again for Easter and Sharin’ o’ the Green,” said Milligan.