DAPHNE, Alabama — With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, most people begin to think about time with family, cooler weather and mounds of food on the dining room table. This time of festivity and feast might be a good time to remember that some people are not pondering on a method to cook turkey or a decision between whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce.
Despite today’s obese society, some are not dieting, counting calories or cutting out carbs. Some people still go to bed hungry each night and worry over one of life’s most basic necessities — a full stomach.
But other people are doing everything they can to change that. Prodisee Pantry feeds 800 families per month, and employees of Baldwin County Sewer Service are again volunteering their time to help with this year’s Turkey Trot event, a food and fundraising run and festival on Saturday.
“As we approach the holidays, we recognize the increased need for Prodisee Pantry’s services that will be facilitated with the Turkey Trot,” Gerry McManus, a controller at BCSS, explained. “As a business in Baldwin County, we directly realize how the recession and Gulf oil spill have affected people’s lives.
“We partner with Prodisee Pantry year-round because it is through their outreach that people have been able to endure these tough times.”
And the pantry’s executive director said McManus and his co-workers are greatly appreciated.
“Baldwin County Sewer Service has long been supporters of Prodisee Pantry’s emergency food program,” Deann Servos explained. “They are a primary sponsor.”
She said the event brings families together for a fun time, while bringing out the best within.
“The Turkey Trot will have family friendly booths including samples from Moo Che Che, Bruno’s, Daphne Utilities and more. Attendees are encouraged to bring canned food items to ‘stuff the turkey,’” she said with a smile. “Racers are welcome to push jog-strollers, or run or walk the fun run as a family. There will also be door prizes and a fun festival atmosphere.”
Servos said the money from the event makes Thanksgiving possible for many hungry people.
“The funds raised will help Prodisee Pantry provide the traditional fixings for a Thanksgiving feast to Baldwin County families in crisis,” she explained. “The funds will offset the cost of the turkeys — last year, 4.5 tons of turkeys were distributed to needy families.”
She said Turkey Trot and other Prodisee Pantry events depend on volunteer support.
“Volunteers run our programs — many hands make light work,” she spoke with an inspired tone. “There is a wide variety of tasks at Prodisee Pantry and our volunteer teams perform these with compassion.
“We have an interview team, a data-entry team, a food team, delivery team, welcome table team and many work teams. Our volunteers log over 15,000 hours annually because they understand, it’s about hunger ... physical, emotional and spiritual.”
Employees of Baldwin County Sewer System who volunteer with the organization understand that and more, according to Jenny Williams, of the BCSS marketing department.
“I’ve been volunteering for different charities during my personal time for several years, and working for a company that significantly gives assistance to local charities and having opportunities to help these organizations through the company truly makes me feel great,” she said with motivation. “It gives me a sense that I’m making a bigger difference than I could on my own.
“We want to do our part to enhance Baldwin County and its future. As a utility company that provides necessary services in the area, we like to reach out and connect to as many customers as we can to better relate to them and show our appreciation. Also, the more involved we are in the community, the more feedback we receive to better accommodate our customers.”
“BCSS employees are passionate about helping the community, and we volunteer for personal causes as well as sponsored community events,” he said. “These events are fun ways for us to come together and make a collected impact. Collaborating outside of business hours creates a stronger team and helps us better communicate at work.”