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Breakfasts PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: This fall, join us in remembering the joy of Autumn Breakfasts PAST. While we sadly cannot gather for a meal at the PRESENT, we hope we can look to the FUTURE—together. Your donation, matched by our sponsors, will help local families go hunger-free this holiday season & beyond.
Donate TODAY to make sure families go hunger-free this holiday season and beyond.
A $25,000 match from our sponsors will DOUBLE your donation!
Helen Muise Community Service Award Winners
“When COVID started I was on the list when the call went out. I knew there was a lot of need and wanted to help because I could,” Bergeron said."In this time of helplessness and fear I was at least doing something good."
“I think to give your time is the most valuable thing because nobody has enough time,” Lanier said. “I just love it here. I’m going to volunteer forever.”
"I believe in volunteering. I think it allows a person to know what is really going on in the community, and a little bit of what’s going on in the world,” Gibbons said.
She says her parents instilled the value of giving back early on in her life.
A retired High School English teacher, this summer Lisa Alcock tapped into her skills as an educator to support a F1rstJobs grant recipient, a recent high school graduate with autism spectrum disorder.
"She was a godsend," Thrift Operations Director Susan Zwart said. "On top of being a regular volunteer, she cared to make sure his experience was a good one. It was above and beyond what volunteers normally do.”
Mari Bergeron, Jessica Lanier, Rosemary Gibbons, and Lisa Alcock are the 2021 Helen Muise Community Service Award Winners. This award is named after Helen Muise who was a faithful volunteer until she lost her battle with cancer in 2002. She ruled the kitchen with a big wooden spoon and ninety-eight pounds of determination. The recipient(s) of this award must have volunteered more than 40 hours in the last 12 months, and must possess the qualities of service that we so fondly remember of Helen.
When Charlotte Pope retired from teaching in the late ‘70s she volunteered at the food pantry, the schools, and at The Open Door Meals. She believed helping others was just the right thing to do, and it was a way of giving back to the neighborhood that helped take care of her and her siblings when she was growing up after her mother died. She knew more than anyone what it means when someone says, “It takes a village…”
The award is given each year to a volunteer or volunteers who live out this principle in their deeds and actions.
"It’s just about trying to help people in need,” Knight said. “Especially during the pandemic, when people were out of work and couldn’t be as mobile as they used to be."
Pat & Tom Cronin
Each year, the Unsung Hero award recognizes a volunteer or volunteers who have gone the extra mile, often taking on responsibilities beyond those typically assigned to a volunteer, in order to make a profound impact. This award recognizes those who are often behind the scenes, putting countless hours into their service to help us connect more people to good, healthy food.
Pre-pandemic, Pat volunteered in the Food Pantry to check-out clients, and also for Community Meals and the Summer Meals for Kids program. When COVID-19 hit, she and Tom signed up as a two person grocery and meal delivery team. In September 2020, Tom also began helping leadership of The Open Door research and implement a new online ordering system, Smart Choice™ at The Open Door, which today gives clients more choices than ever when ordering their groceries.
“I think in the beginning, we were all feeling helpless about the whole situation with COVID. It was nice to feel like you were making a difference and improving someone’s life in a small way,” Pat said. “The clients are just so grateful, still, after so many months.”
of the Year
Rockport Mortgage Corporation
The Sustainability Partner of the Year Award seeks to recognize an organization that has demonstrated a desire and commitment to support sustainable relationships and programs for hunger relief, with the knowledge that this is a key step in securing consistent access to good, healthy food for those in our communities in need of a little extra help.
“Because of what we do on a daily basis, we are keenly aware that the rising cost of housing, whether through ownership or renting, can have a significantly negative impact on an individual’s, or family’s, ability to put food on the table,” said Rockport Mortgage President Dan Lyons. “Rockport Mortgage truly values the impact that
The Open Door has and we look forward to continuing our support for many years to come.”
Outstanding Community Partner
Institution for Savings
The Outstanding Community Partner Award is given each year to an organization that has taken extraordinary steps to make a meaningful impact for their community. Those that receive this award have demonstrated that helping one's neighbors is more than a gesture of kindness and generosity, but also deeply integrated into the philosophy and values of their organization.
“It is an honor to be recognized by The Open Door with the Outstanding Community Partner Award,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Jones. “The critical work that the employees and volunteers of this impactful organization does every day to ensure that every person across our region has the food and services they need to thrive is inspiring. We look forward to many more years of partnership and thank you for this recognition.”
Cream of the Crop
Apples of Our Eye
Tom & Kristin Zarrella
A Taste of Honey
Sweet as Pie
Bob & Carolyn Stewart