Have you met any really special people lately, people that make our community the special place that it is? Monday the 16th was one of those great days where I saw many special people doing some important work. Monday was a collection day for PORCH. “People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill Carrboro Homes,” or PORCH, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to feed the hungry in our community by organizing monthly food drives. The food they collect restocks the shelves of several of our local food pantries and cash donations they receive are used to purchase fresh produce for distribution to identified families in need.

The group celebrated the first anniversary of PORCH on Monday and officially kicked-off the fresh produce program called “Food for Families.” Debbie Horwitz, Susan Romaine, and Christine Cotton are the three founders of PORCH and serve as directors. Their boundless energy and fine organizational skills created the structure behind this movement to provide hunger relief in our community. Over 1,200 folks in over 100 neighborhoods now participate in the monthly food drives. When I arrived at the Romaine home Monday morning, their garage was already half-full with bags of food. As more and more cars drove up with donations, the corps of busy volunteers unloaded them and then helped to sort. Some people were in the garage and others were in the yard, all busy with their assigned tasks. One volunteer said viewing at all of the activity reminded her of “organized chaos.”

The cheerful and enthusiastic volunteers looked for the tags along the wall that told them where to put what, and before you knew it, full bags were no longer full and their contents were where they were supposed to be.  Along the side of the driveway, the fresh produce was soon sorted and loaded up for delivery. Clearly, the leaders learned a lot in their first year about making this as simple and efficient as it could be.

Several locally elected officials helped to sort, including Carrboro’s Mayor Mark Chilton and Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle, and Chapel Hill Town Council member Penny Rich. In addition to delivering the donations from my neighborhood, I also represented the Strowd Roses Foundation who provided a grant to PORCH to fund the new yard signs and car magnets that you will see around town. There were also several media representatives covering the event so look for their articles.

I hope that every story will give you further insight into these very dedicated people making such a difference as they address the needs of the hungry.

These are special people! Now, those are my thoughts. What are yours? Comment below!