Jan and Brent Stanley served up their annual Cookie Exchange on Saturday.
And lest you think it sounds like just another fun party at this community-oriented couple'a fabulous home, think again.
It’s actually a working party: Bring three dozen homemade cookies. Eat some. Pack 100 tins of assorted cookies for Jan and her mother Ruth to personally deliver to shut-ins; and take a dozen home with you.
But that’s not all. You are also to bring rice and beans or any of a number of “wish list” items for the Food Pantry.
After enjoying delicious sandwiches, coffee and Bailey’s, Christmas Beer, or punch, we get to work sorting all those items. And there were a LOT of items from the 140 or so people who attended -- plus what Jan and Brent Stanley had already purchased.
It was calculated that there was at least 1,000 pounds of rice and 1,000 pounds of beans -- plus hundreds of other items, more than enough to surpass last year's donation which provided food to the Food Pantry for four months.
Besides sorting all the items, the large bags of rice and beans are broken down and put into quart ziplocks, ready for the Pantry’s bi-weekly distribution.
This 90-minute burst of activity from 140 people saved the Shared Ministry’s Food Pantry volunteers hundreds of hours of work.
In addition to all this activity, there was a presentation by Karla Rosen to Jan and Brent Stanley on behalf of the weekly exercise group that Jan hosts, as a thank you for hosting the group, and for all the community work they do. They were presented with a Heifer International cow.
“When a family has a cow, every morning there's a glass of rich milk for the children to drink before heading off to school," according to Heifer International. "Classes are paid with the income from the sale of milk, and there's even enough to share with the neighbors.
"And because a healthy cow can produce a calf every year, every gift will be passed on and eventually help an entire community move from poverty to self reliance,” the organization says.
Additionally, the Stanleys were given a Women’s Empowerment Gift from Heifer International.
"In the developing world, where much of Heifer’s work takes place, women are responsible for producing 80 percent of the food," Heifer International said. "Yet they own less than one percent of the land.
"This gift provides Heifer training and assistance so that mothers will be able to work and become self-sufficient," the organization says. "They will be able to afford to send their children to school, pay medical bills and, most importantly, will give women a way to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty."
Judy Edmonds reported that Clo the Cow from Stornetta was disappointed she couldn’t come to help make the presentation, but sent along her stuffed double with apologies.