More than 3,000 pounds of food collected during first SOS event
Goodness-To-Go has been deemed a success with more than 3,000 pounds of food and approximately $32,000 raised for the Cape Coral Caring Center.
“It went very well. It was very exciting. It was a good day with lots of volunteers who were anxious to help,” Cape Coral Caring Center Executive Director Julie Ferguson said. “It was so powerful to see everyone in the room ready to go to work and help out and make a difference. We definitely did that day and definitely are continuing. The need never ends. We do our best to help them out of the situation they are in. Once we get one person out of the situation, someone else gets sick and has a serious illness. We have to make sure they get the help they need.”
The Goodness-to-Go Day began by initiative leader and facilitator Chris Spiro. Participation in the event was simple. Those who wanted to become involved visited sosgoodnesstogo.com and filled out a form, which included their first and last name, their address, phone number and email. On Sept. 13, a group of volunteers stopped by those homes and businesses and picked up a bag of food and monetary donations.
Ferguson participated in the event. She said she visited the Cape Coral Daily Breeze office, Raso Realty and Radiology Regional.
“They were all excited to see us. We took lots of pictures. They were happy to help. Nobody wants anyone to go hungry,” she said. “It was a day that just made everyone feel so good. We all had smiles on our face. It was hot, but that was OK because we knew what we were doing was good and it was going to help people. We were walking around in our bright T-shirts acting like Robin Hood with permission.”
The monetary donations received will stretch much further than the $32,000 they volunteers collected the day of the event. Ferguson said every dollar they raise is worth as much as $8.
“The people that came in on Friday had a pleasure to see all the wonderful food that was everywhere from Goodness to Go,” she said. “It is always nicer when there is an abundance of food.”
With that said, she said they do not try and keep inventory around.
“When we have it, it goes to our people. To the people who need it,” Ferguson said.
The Cape Coral Caring Center’s busiest time of the year is from June to the end of December. The SOS event will help sustain the need, getting the center through the busy time.
“We’ve been seeing people that are coming to us because they don’t have their hours at work. They have been cut because of the water quality issues,” she said. “The food and money that was raised is helping even more than ever before.”
The donations will also help with their Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
On average the center sees around 15 to 20 families, which can increase to 30 at times.
“We don’t ever limit the number of families that we see. If they are in our center they will be leaving with food,” Ferguson said.
Every client is interviewed and income qualified before they leave the center with food. The amount of food that is given is based on the family size.
“A family will leave with enough food to feed for about a week,” she said. “We give our clients fresh produce, fresh and frozen meat.”
The bag of goodies usually contains nonperishable food, as well as such toiletries as soap and toilet paper. Sometimes cleaning supplies and laundry detergent are provided. The center also provides pet food when it has some.