Helping Hands Food Bank Donation

John Janicki (left), Miranda Wilson and daughter Katie Clay, Erik Larsen, Mike Moser and Rick Baillie pose for a photo Wednesday outside the Helping Hands Solution Center in Sedro-Woolley. The food bank received a $40,000 donation from the Sedro-Woolley Rotary Club.

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — The Sedro-Woolley Rotary Club made a $40,000 donation Wednesday to the Helping Hands Solution Center.

“This is a huge deal,” said Erik Larsen, operations manager of the food bank. “Because of the amount of people we are serving, even though our regular food sources have been increasing across the board, what we find is we still lack in certain items.”

Larsen said the donation will allow Helping Hands to purchase what it can’t get from other sources.

“For families of four, that donation amount equates to about 4,000 meals,” he said.

The donation was impressive considering pandemic restrictions have led to new approaches in fundraising. The club raised about $25,000 in a matter of weeks, and the rest came from a single donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Assisting Helping Hands has always been a priority for the the local Rotary Club, but even more so this year. The club previously made two $5,000 donations.

“We’ve had a limited budget this year,” said Sedro-Woolley Rotary Club President Mike Moser. “But we still wanted to help Helping Hands food bank during the pandemic. The membership wanted to do something special for Helping Hands because times are tough and they are serving a lot of people.”

Moser said he received a phone call two weeks ago from a donor who was willing to match up to $15,000 if the club could raise that amount in a couple of weeks.

Done and done.

“Well, we were certainly going to try,” Moser said. “So we put the word out to the membership and a couple other Rotary clubs and then word got out to the general community, and we were able to raise it.”

Moser said the generosity of the community was mind-boggling, adding the community certainly stepped up to fill a need.

“We are absolutely thrilled we could do this, and absolutely amazed that we pulled it off in two weeks time,” he said.

And so is Helping Hands Deputy Director Rick Baillie.

“To see this type of generosity and especially with COVID, it just blows you away,” he said. “To see the community supporting other members of the community that are really hard hit, it is really amazing. The need just continues to grow and every dollar helps.”

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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