While there isn’t a company or organization in the world that didn’t feel the effects of the pandemic, nonprofits faced challenges on many fronts. Not only were regular services provided by nonprofits more challenging to execute, not having access to in-person volunteers was an incredible strain. Couple that with not being able to engage directly with the constituents and neighbors that these organizations serve and it’s easy to understand why nonprofit leads like Buda United Methodist Church Volunteer Social Services Coordinator, Diana Woods, was feeling disheartened. That’s why she was grateful for the 5 extra sets of hands she suddenly was able to count on starting last year from a new group of volunteers from local real estate company, Land Sale TX. But, it gets sweeter. One day as the team was sorting and bagging food donations in preparation for one of BUMC’s bi-weekly drive-thru food distributions, she thought to ask them if they could recommend any contractors for work she had dreamed of having done to the pantry – extended concrete walkways and installing pop-up windows on the food pantry trailer to make the (hopeful) return to in-person, walk-up distribution more seamless, hospitable and efficient. Given their industry, she fully expected them to be able to recommend some trusted contractors, what she did not expect was for them to vet, hire and coordinate the work. And, one of the brightest lights in those dark months for her was when she was told they had paid for all the construction work as well.

On May 4th, the BUMC Food Pantry and Land Sale TX, along with the Hays County Food Bank and student volunteers from the Hay County ISD Adult Transition Program, celebrated with a ribbon-cutting and courtyard reception directly prior to their Wednesday food distribution – the first time the food distribution returned to walk-up service in over 2 years.

β€œLand Sale TX has been a great team of volunteers and this gift was a boost to morale during distribution challenges created by the pandemic.This thoughtful contribution to our outdoor service space makes it possible to bring nutritional, healthy food to those who need it, in an atmosphere that brings us together in hospitality. We are so grateful! – Diana Woods (BUMC Volunteer Social Services Coordinator)

THe BUMC Food Pantry distributes approximately 16,000lbs of food serving 400 families a month. β€œIt’s mind-blowing how many of our Hays County neighbors this small, unassuming food pantry serves. In addition to serving those that are facing hunger in our own backyards, knowing the amount of people they assist with one-on-one services like acquiring vital medications, wellness checks and arranging other state-wide benefits, it’s impossible not to be inspired and want to be more involved. We are honored to be of service both in person and by helping to enhance their vital operation through this new construction.” -Kacey Gorringe (CEO, Land Sale TX)

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