THE LIONS CHANGED MY LIFE A Nourishing Donation The Montville Social Services Food Pantry has been a precious resource for residents in times of need for decades. But when Hurricane Sandy hit this Connecticut town in October, the food bank was depleted and the situation was dire. The local newspaper ran a brief article to get the word out, and that was all the Lions needed to get in gear. District 23C Governor Jan Miller—who had just received an LCIF $10,000 Emergency grant—got on the phone with Montville Mohegan-Pequot Lion Ken Tucker, who in turn spearheaded a coordinated effort among his club, the Montville Lions and the Eastern Connecticut Asian and American Lions. Four days after the newspaper article appeared, the Lions were stocking the food bank’s shelves with 1,542 pounds of food, while Kathleen Doherty-Peck, director of Senior and Social Services for Montville, fought back tears of gratitude. Q&A: Kathleen Doherty-Peck LION Magazine: How difficult was it to keep up with demand in the weeks following Sandy? Kathleen Doherty-Peck: We had already seen an increase in need with the state of the economy, but we had so many more people in need after the storm. Wonderful people would bring a bag or two of groceries in, but the food would go out just as fast as it came in. LM: How did it feel when you learned the Lions were going to help? KDP: Knowing how many people are in need in our town and how we struggle to meet those needs—to have the Lions rise to the occasion was really heartwarming. I can’t adequately describe the relief and appreciation I felt for this help. LM: How did the delivery go? KDP: It was wonderful. All three clubs really pulled together. The Lions arrived with trucks and they formed an assembly line and loaded everything into our storage area. It was a sight to see and an emotional experience. LM: You must have a lot of emotional days. KDP: I’ve seen grown men cry because they have to come here. People will drive around the parking lot until everyone leaves so no one sees them come in. Asking for help is a hard thing to do, but we’re here when they need us. LM: Did the food go a long way? KDP: They brought great staples like peanut butter, tuna and pasta. We normally provide about 3,000 meals a month, and what the Lions brought supplied at least that. LM: Do you think the Lions realize their impact? KDP: You know, the Lions don’t get to see what I do: the thank-you cards, the hugs when people receive their food. I just want the Lions to know how much we appreciate everything they do. Lions: have you heard from a beneficiary or a recipient of your kindness, service or charity? Tell us about the feedback you receive from those whose lives you’ve changed for the better. Email a brief description of your correspondence to email@example.com. Please include “Thank You” in the subject line.
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