Retirement is a wonderful time of life; the “have tos” become replaced by the “want tos.” When my husband Ned and I retired, we wanted to really make a difference in our community. God has blessed us in so many ways, and we wanted to be able to be a blessing to others.

After researching many different opportunities, we chose Loaves & Fishes Community Services and are we glad we did! As we tell our family and friends, Loaves & Fishes is in the hope business. Through the bi-weekly grocery assistance as well as the many resource programs that are offered, our neighbors finally can see a way out of often devastating circumstances. To be part of that transformation has been one of the greatest joys of our lives. At Loaves & Fishes there is such an upbeat feeling; smiles abound among volunteers and clients alike.

I will never forget the day a young couple came in to register for help. Although they were both college graduates, they were loaded with debt and their new baby meant they had suddenly become a one-income household. They had no family in the area and were truly at the end of their rope. It almost broke my heart when the father assured me that their baby got fed but they skipped meals to make that happen. When they left that day they had a grocery cart full of food, formula, and diapers, and our CARES team was going to be contacting them to see how else we could be of help. I went home that night confident the future was looking much brighter for that young family.

That’s why Ned and I volunteer and support Loaves and Fishes. Every week we get to be a real part of turning despair into hope.

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