With the year’s first snow storm on the horizon, God’s Love We Deliver put our annual winter preparations into high gear in the first week of January. We have always made delivering to our clients, no matter the weather or circumstance, our highest priority. That’s why, when we heard of Winter Storm Hercules coming our way, we took to preparing our building, our volunteers, our staff and our clients.
For more than 8 years, God’s Love has delivered an emergency meal kit, called a Blizzard Box, to each household, before winter arrives. God’s Love volunteers fill these boxes each year with delicious, nutritious and non-perishable foods such as granola bars, water, cans of tuna, peanut butter, oatmeal, applesauce, cream of wheat and more, for clients and their families to eat in the unlikely event that regular deliveries are delayed due to inclement weather. This year was no different, and, fortunately, volunteers of God’s Love delivered Blizzard Boxes to each household during our Winter Feast celebration on December 24, 2013. This year, Whole Foods Market NYC, Justin’s, Volvic water and GoGoSqueez generously supported and provided goods for these Blizzard Boxes.
In preparation for the storm, God’s Love delivered extra food on Thursday. Meal delivery on Friday was postponed due to the snow, but God’s Love, for the first time ever, made regular, non-holiday deliveries to these clients on Saturday, with the help of dedicated staff drivers and van assistant volunteers. The following Sunday, God’s Love volunteers filled an extra meal packaging shift (known as “kitting”) to cover for Friday’s closing. Finally, more volunteers filled extra shifts in the early part of the week following the storm to prepare and package food, doing the work that would have been accomplished on Friday.
The outpouring of volunteer help that God’s Love experienced over the past few days is nothing unfamiliar to the organization, which works with 8,000 volunteers each year. After Hurricane Sandy last year, God’s Love had an overwhelming response from volunteers who wanted to help the organization recover from the storm and get back on track cooking and delivering nutritious meals to their clients. This year is no exception after Winter Storm Hercules, and everyone at God’s Love gives thanks to have such a dedicated and generous volunteer base.
This was the first winter storm that God’s Love experienced in our temporary Brooklyn home. Because of recent record growth and need to expand, God’s Love has temporarily relocated to 630 Flushing Avenue.
“We are fortunate at God’s Love to have volunteers, donors and supporters who help us prepare for anything, even the worst weather,” said Karen Pearl, our President & CEO. “We remain committed to never missing a meal delivery for our clients, but, in times like these with storms like Hercules, when we cannot deliver, we are glad to know we have planned multiple ways to care for our clients with Blizzard Boxes, alternate days of delivery, and additional volunteer shifts to help us get back to our regular schedule.”
We plan to restock our emergency kits with more shelf-stable provisions, to make sure our clients are prepared in the event of another storm. To support the purchase of emergency supplies for the next round of kits, please visit glwd.org/blizzardbags.