In the aftermath of the winter storm that ravaged Texas in February, Junior League of San Antonio, Inc. (JLSA) volunteers were a bright spot in the darkness for fellow nonprofits.
Communications Vice President Rebekah Perez was in the midst of planning her spring PR campaign when the storm hit. Knowing that much of the community could have dire need for assistance, she and Laura Tannenbaum, VP-Elect of Communications, quickly organized their fellow Communications Council members, as well as Casie Moler, Board Member at Large, to reach out to our local partners to find out how JLSA could help. Even as their own power and internet was returning, JLSA Members Whitney McCarthy, Sarah Kay Thompson, Rebecca Cord, Juli Albright, and Kelley Mortiz-Ruiz joined Rebekah, Laura, and Casie in reaching out to our community partners. Incredibly, many of our partners made it through the storm unscathed; however, the Brighton Center and Mission Road Developmental Center (one of the locations in partnership with the Unicorn Center) required immediate assistance, mainly with restocking their food pantries for the families and children who use their services.
Rebekah and Laura created a shopping list of the most in-need items, estimated the cost, and put out a call for assistance to Communications Council members on February 22nd. In less than a week, after shopping trips to Costco and Walmart, the items were purchased, sorted, and ready for delivery.
On March 1st, JLSA President Courtney Ringlestein assisted in the loading and delivery of donations to Mission Road Development Center, while Rebekah helped load and deliver the donations to the Brighton Center. Kristen Palme, Casie Moler, Kelley Mortiz-Ruiz, Juli Albright, and Issis Vela-Fox also assisted with purchasing and delivering the donations.
Altogether, JLSA donated over 15,000 servings of food to our partners in need—over $1,500 worth of pantry staples like cereal, rice, and beans, and children’s snacks like Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks. In addition to what was purchased by JLSA directly, Sustainer Engagement Chair Kristen Palme made an in-kind donation of $100 worth of snacks to help refill Brighton Center’s pantry.
Here are some of the kind words shared with us from the community partners we were able to assist:
“Following ‘snowmageddon’ we lost so much food due to power outages and water loss. The JLSA came to the rescue with enough food to completely restock our pantry at one of our campuses.”
Katrina Campbell, Chief Development Officer, Brighton Center
“Many of the people on our staff live paycheck to paycheck. The work is purposeful, but the pay is low…there are several employees who have been grateful recipients of some of this food for their families as well…It is thoughtful gifts like yours that we can share with staff to help them above their hourly wage.”
Lynette Farrimond, VP of Development and Communications, Mission Roads Ministries
Thanks to our Board Members’ quick thinking and the swift action of JLSA volunteers, these community partners have been able to bounce back quickly following the worst winter storm Texas has seen in over a decade.
Bridget Klish, Transfer Member