The World’s Biggest Garage Sale at Twin Lakes Church on May 4th raised $37,784.84, with all proceeds benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank and our network of more than 200 agencies and programs.
The amount raised represents a 60% jump over last year. That’s exciting news—but it gets even better. Our local business partners matched every $1, bringing the grand total to $75,569.68 or 302,279 meals (every $1 donated provides 4 meals).
“What makes it so incredible is that this record-breaking amount came 50 cents at a time,” said Laurie Schlaepfer, co-chair of the sale. One highlight was a nine-year-old boy named Gabe who sold used golf balls he’d been collecting from the course near his house. He raised $150 for Second Harvest.
“Everyone at Twin Lakes works so hard on this event and it is always fun to see the community come out in support of it,” said Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest. “And just when you think it couldn’t get any bigger, it more than doubles. When you add the business match, this definitely starts the campaign off with a bang and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church, said, “Second Harvest has an amazing group of local leaders excited about helping them keep important nutrition programs funded. Together we are building a healthier future for our community.”
The World’s Biggest Garage Sale is an annual event held by Twin Lakes Church to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. This year’s sale takes place on Saturday, May 4th from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
There are two ways you can help.
1. DONATE ITEMS
They are looking for clothing (in excellent condition), furniture, housewares, working appliances, gardening tools, linens, bedding, books, DVDs, CDs, flat screen TVs, seasonal and decorative times, artwork, collectibles, jewelry, sporting goods, and other wonderful things in sellable condition.
You can drop off items at the Bus Barn behind the main church buildings at the following times:
Saturday, April 27, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 28, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday, April 29 through Thursday, May 2, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Friday, May 3, furniture and large items only on approval
2. SHOP ON SATURDAY, MAY 4th
Great items and treasures at great prices.
Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive in Aptos, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
For more information, contact Gwenda Banker at 831-763-3730 or email@example.com.
Although the 2012 Holiday Food Drive officially ended on January 15th, it takes time for us to ensure that every pound of food donated has been weighed and every dollar added up before we announce the grand total. Volunteers have been sorting the food and our 200 member agencies have begun distributing it to hungry people throughout Santa Cruz County. The money raised will be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and protein to supplement the non-perishable items donated by our generous community. It is expected that the food collected will be enough to feed people through March, a period when the need is at its greatest.
Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest announced the total number of meals raised on January 31st at a donor appreciation event sponsored by Plantronics and held at their corporate headquarters in Santa Cruz.
Willy Elliott-McCrea, Rene Schlaepfer, Mary Blanchard
Elliott-McCrea thanked all the donors, “I want to express my deepest appreciation for your support in 2012. Thanks to you, we reached our goal and even slightly exceeded it. Everyone did their part.”
“Special thanks to our co-chairs Ken Kannappan, CEO of Plantronics and Rene Schlaepfer, Senior Pastor, Twin Lakes Church for all their leadership and energy,“ he added. “You inspired and rallied the community like never before.”
Ann Ferrante, Mary Solari, Earleen Overend
The 2012 Holiday Food Drive was a success due to the co-chairs’ vision and ability to communicate the opportunity to:
Build a compassionate community at work, at church and at school.
Transform this community by attacking child malnutrition.
Work together as a community to build a stronger path for all our youth through good nutrition, education and engagement.
Last year, Second Harvest’s Board of Trustees crafted a new 10-year vision, by 2022:
To eliminate child hunger and instill lifelong healthy eating habits
To ensure a brighter future for the youth and a healthy workforce
To reduce obesity by 10% through good nutrition and education
To reduce health costs for families, businesses and taxpayers.
Whether it’s the people needing temporary assistance or the people providing the means to supply that assistance—everything we do depends on the cooperation and support of our community. With your continued support, we will be able to change more lives for the better. Together, we make the difference.
Special thanks to the Plantronics team and Beauregard Vineyards for an amazing party.
Kelli Greene, Plantronics, Kathy MacLean, Second Harvest
Twin Lakes Church of Aptos announced this weekend that their month-long food drive raised the cash equivalent of approximately one quarter million dollars, all of which the church donated to Second Harvest to feed hungry people in Santa Cruz County. The food bank can provide four healthy meals for every dollar, so this translates into one million meals.
Pastor Rene with Board Break-a-Thon participant at the Holiday Food Drive Kickoff
“So many people gave so creatively to this drive,” said Senior Pastor Rene Schlaepfer. One 7-year old boy sold handmade crafts door-to-door, and other kids sold Christmas cards they’d made. One couple in the church gave up coffee for a month and donated their savings; antique furniture was sold on craigslist; another family gave Apple stock; and a Tae Kwan Do class performed a “Board Break-a-thon” for food drive sponsorships.
Why did the church give so much to the food bank? “We want to be the hands helping the community,” explained Pastor Schlaepfer. He calls this astonishing gift “the feeding of the one million” in reference to the miraculous “feeding of the 5,000” in the Bible.
Willy Elliott-McCrea, CEO of Second Harvest said, “The congregation of Twin Lakes Church exemplifies the spirit of giving through their willingness to sacrifice so that everyone can have nourishing food to eat. To see people of all ages working together to help so many is gratifying.”
Every year, Twin Lakes Church goes the extra mile to help their neighbors in need. Once again, we find ourselves in deep appreciation of their compassion and commitment to reaching a goal. One million healthy meals! Thank you.
The seventh annual Nutrition Summit was held on Monday, October 15th at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos. Sponsored by Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, this event brings local non-profit organizations together for a half-day to learn, share ideas and explore new ways to collaborate. The event featured a panel discussion, nutrition workshops, healthy lunch and presentation of the 2012 Food Donor of the Year award to Happy Boy Farms.
Owned by Greg Beccio and based near Watsonville, Happy Boy Farms has been growing organically for over fifteen years. Dozens of varieties of fresh vegetables and fruits are harvested, washed and packed by hand and personally delivered to farmers’ markets, local restaurants and grocery locations throughout the Bay Area.
The crew at Happy Boy Farms
Happy Boy Farms has been donating fresh organic produce to Second Harvest since 2009, averaging more than 55,000 pounds annually. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, they donated nearly 60,000 pounds of produce including broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, beets, peppers, squash, radishes, tomatoes, salad greens and herbs.
The achievements and prolonged existence of the farm are directly due to the dedication and enthusiasm of its employees, some of whom have been with the farm since the beginning. The farm employs 60 full time staff year-round and 160 employees in the peak season.
At 75% of the farmers’ markets where they sell their produce, Happy Boy partners with charitable anti-hunger groups and churches that collect produce donations at the end of day for distribution to people in need. Danny Lazzarini, Farmers’ Market Coordinator, says, “Giving back to the people in need in the community is important to us. We make our produce accessible through donations in the communities where we farm and sell at farmers’ markets. We are privileged to be in this place where we have such abundance. It feels good to share that.”
“There are so many people who work in agriculture here who can’t afford to eat what we grow,” adds Lazzarini. “For us, it is really important to donate produce so these families can have a varied, healthy diet. We are privileged to be in this place where we have such abundance. It feels good to share that.”
The World’s Biggest Garage Sale, held at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos on May 5th, was a huge success! Now in its second year, the event raised $22,700. Since Second Harvest can purchase three pounds of food for every dollar raised, that’s 68,100 pounds of food! With a few donations still coming in, it looks like they’ll easily reach 70,000 pounds.
World's Biggest Garage Sale at Twin Lakes Church
Thanks to all the Twin Lakes Church volunteers and to everyone in the community that either donated or purchased items—or both! Special thanks to Gwenda Baker and Laurie Schlaepfer for all of their hard work.
All the barrels have been picked up and weighed and the cash donations tabulated: the truly astounding grand total for the 2011 Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food Drive is just over 2.7 million pounds of food and cash equivalent! That’s well over our goal of 2.5M and a wonderful example of just how dedicated our community is to providing healthy food to hungry people.
The announcement was made during a special event at Michael’s on Main in Soquel. Thanks so much to Second Harvest board members, Phil Dundas and Jeremy Lezin, for putting on this event. Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest along with Holiday Food Drive Co-Chairs, Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church and Ryan Coonerty, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz, were on hand for the big reveal. A hush went over the crowd as Pastor Rene quietly said that we didn’t make the 2.5M goal. Cheers went up when he then went on to explain that we had actually exceeded it—collecting over 2.7M pounds.
Every pound raised will be distributed by Second Harvest’s network of over 200 local agencies and programs and their 3,000 volunteers. Together, these agencies provide food and hope to 50,000 Santa Cruz County residents each month, half of whom are kids.
A perfect evening to mingle on the patio at Michael's
There was no end to the amount of activity and creativity used to raise food and funds this year—from holiday parties and in-store events, to kids selling homemade crafts—the compassion of our community came through loud and clear on every level. “I was concerned about our ability to meet our increased goal this year and was truly overwhelmed when I found out the total raised by our community,” said Elliott-McCrea. “You are all hunger fighters!”
We invite everyone to join Second Harvest for our Annual Awards Dinner on March 7th at the University Business Park in Santa Cruz (former Wrigley Building). We’ll be honoring our community heroes and 2012 Hunger Fighters of the Year at this fun community event. Seats are limited. Please purchase tickets by February 24th.
Just ten weeks ago, Pastor René Schlaepfer issued a challenge to his congregation to donate one million pounds of food by Thanksgiving. He asked every person in the church to set aside $1.40 a day for ten weeks. “For our church, that adds up to over $330,000,” explains Pastor Rene. “Since Second Harvest Food Bank equates three pounds of food per dollar during the holiday food drive, that’s a million pounds worth of food.”
René is the senior pastor at Twin Lakes Church, a congregation of over 3,600 near Santa Cruz, California. A popular speaker at conferences, René has recently spoken at events in Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, San Diego, Hawaii, Mexico and Africa. Rene’s ministry has been featured in magazines like “Leadership Journal” and “Rev” as well as TV and radio broadcasts like James Dobson’s “Family News in Focus”, and last year Twin Lakes Church made national headlines with a record-breaking food drive. Rene is also the author of two books, “Thrill Ride” and “The Hope Experience”.
The congregation of Twin Lakes Church in Aptos has raised over 1.2 million pounds of food for Second Harvest’s 2011 Holiday Food Drive!
Pastor Rene Schlaepfer, Travis Buese and Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty
Just ten weeks ago, Pastor Rene Schlaepfer issued a challenge to his congregation to donate one million pounds of food by Thanksgiving. He asked every person in the church to set aside $1.40 a day for ten weeks. “For our church, that adds up to over $330,000,” explains Pastor Rene. “Since Second Harvest Food Bank equates three pounds of food per dollar during the holiday food drive, that’s a million pounds worth of food.”
“I told everyone I was praying for total participation, 100%. I even asked the little kids to help out and they had some amazingly creative ideas,” said Pastor Rene. “One six-year old boy sold his hand-made paper kites door-to-door for two dollars each. A junior high kid did chores for neighbors. Two martial arts students held a board break-a-thon. One of my favorites: Four little brothers, aged 2 to 7, sold toy caterpillars they made themselves. They raised over $300 that way!”
Selling homemade caterpillars
Adults, equally inspired by Pastor Rene, sold furniture and books online, held garage sales, and more. One couple sold their old coin collection. Another family decided they would all forgo Christmas presents and give to the food drive instead. The owners of Yogurtland of Capitola donated a portion of one day’s proceeds to the cause, raising over $1500.
An estimated 3,000 people raised 1,229,916 pounds of food, which is the largest contribution by a single organization that Second Harvest has ever received, and almost half of the 2011 goal of 2.5 million pounds.
“Twin Lakes’ total this year is more than their combined total from the previous three years,” said Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest Food Bank. “It is an incredible leap and accomplishment and we are truly amazed at what they have done. Thank you to everyone that participated.”
Twin Lakes Church presents check to Second Harvest. L-R Levon Billups, Dick Manning, Brooke Johnson, Danny Keith, Jack Spurlock and Victor Kimura
The need for food aid in Santa Cruz County is up 38% since 2008. Second Harvest Food Bank provides food for over 55,000 people in Santa Cruz County every month, more than half are kids. For every dollar donated, Second Harvest can provide four meals.
“It’s mostly families and the working poor,” Mayor Ryan Coonerty, co-chair of the Holiday Food Drive
said of the 55,000 beneficiaries. “People who have a job but just don’t have enough to get them through the entire month. It’s not just about getting food for them to eat, it’s also relieving parents of the concern that their children are hungry—that to me is the biggest reason to do this,” Coonerty said.
He continued, “Its not just about getting any kind of food, it’s about getting nutritious food. There’s a whole nutrition education component to this that’s really important. That’s what makes Santa Cruz a little different than a lot of places and I’m really proud of it.”
Fresh food helps keep kids healthy
“Many people in Santa Cruz County have been unable to escape the negative impacts of job loss, health benefits and homes,” Elliott-McCrea explained. “Second Harvest is committed to assuring that our families are able to obtain healthy, nourishing food through these trying times. We can only do it with support from community leaders like those that make up Twin Lakes Church.”
The 6th Annual Nutrition Summit at Twin Lakes Church on October 17th provided an opportunity for representatives from Second Harvest’s 200 member agencies and programs to share ideas and best practices related to food distribution and nutrition education.
The focus this year was on building stronger communities by distributing fresh produce, educating clients on the health benefits of eating fresh food, and teaching clients to prepare meals using the seasonal fresh produce grown in our area.
Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest Food Bank welcomed the attendees and discussed how cheap processed food continues to be a major cause of obesity and related diseases as well as health care costs that are the result of poor nutrition.
In the opening address, Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church, stressed the importance of working together to make an impact. He helped get the day off to a positive start by sharing inspiring stories about how people can make a difference.
During the morning, attendees had their choice of several interactive workshops, ranging from food safety and pantry management best practices to fitness and healthy cooking tips. After the morning sessions, a healthy lunch was served and attendees had a chance to network and talk about what they had learned.
Ana Melgoza, Second Harvest Leads CalFresh Workshop
Lunch was followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Sister Susan Olson, from Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. The panel featured Dave Francis of Inner Light Pantry, Denise Acosta from Salvation Army, Santa Cruz, Pastor Gary Ball from the Church of the Nazarene Pantry and Pastor Steven Moran from Pan de Vida. Each member of the panel discussed the challenges they faced when they began distributing larger quantities of fresh produce; how they were able to work through it; and how much their clients now appreciate it.
The panel members said that improvements made by Second Harvest such as online ordering and the elimination of delivery fees is allowing them to feed more people. Pastor Gary Ball mentioned that Second Harvest’s Passion For Produce program, with its farmers’ market style of distribution, provides an atmosphere of dignity for people who need food. “Passion For Produce is an incredible program,” Ball enthused. “It gives people a chance to sample unfamiliar vegetables and shows them how to prepare the produce being distributed.”
The panel discussion provided a perfect lead-in to the presentation of the 2011 Food Donor of the Year award to Field Fresh Farms of Watsonville, It is, after all, area growers such as Field Fresh Farms that provide us with the produce. Field Fresh has been a generous donor to Second Harvest for several years, donating over 60,000 pounds of fresh produce on average. In 2010-11, their annual donations exceeded 100,000 pounds.
Food Industry Donor of the Year: Field Fresh Farms
The presentation included proclamations from elected officials. Anthony Cagnacci of Field Fresh Farms said they were honored to receive the award as a local business that wants to help the community.
Wrapping up the Summit, Second Harvest Intern, Jordan Zell gave a presentation on the 2011 Paper Plates Campaign that was done to advocate for the signing of bills to improve food security and support for lower-income seniors and working families.
All-in-all, it was a very informative day that gave Second Harvest agency members a chance to network and share ideas. These agencies and programs utilize 3,000 volunteers to help distribute food to 55,000 people in need throughout Santa Cruz County every month.
Workshop Participants Share a Laugh
Thank you to everyone for your commitment and hard work on behalf of our community.
Thank you to all our presenters and panelists. Special thanks to Twin Lakes Church for hosting this event.
Second Harvest hosted its Annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday March 2nd at the Elks Lodge in Santa Cruz. Transformed for the evening with silver and black accents, candlelight and music, the venue looked truly elegant and set the perfect mood for this special evening.
Second Harvest's Brooke Parker and Bly Morales
It always seems like everyone knows everyone in Santa Cruz and it certainly appeared that way as the honorees and guests entered by way of a red carpet and mingled with neighbors, friends and business associates during the cocktail hour. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of new faces as well—and some young faces too—with plenty of local students on hand to represent the fund raising efforts of their schools through Grind Out Hunger.
Jeremy Lezin, Board Chair, Second Harvest Food Bank, provided opening remarks. Referring to Second Harvest as “the little engine that could,” he pointed out that raising over 2.2 million pounds of food during the 2010 Holiday Food Drive was quite an achievement, given the size of the county and current economic conditions.
Chief Development and Technology Officer, Danny Keith, presented Special Awards to several of the individuals, schools and organizations that came up with great ideas, worked really hard to bring those ideas to fruition, and met or surpassed their goals. Honorees stood for a round of well-deserved applause. Danny also recognized the Grind Out Hunger winners and talked about the amazing youth of Santa Cruz County and what they are able to do when then put their hearts into it.
Mary Anne Carson, Santa Cruz County Bank and Willy Elliott-McCrea, Second Harvest
Then it was time for Second Harvest CEO, Willy Elliott-McCrea, to greet the crowd. He talked about what a great feeling it is to see different parts of the community coming together with compassion to help thousands of families living on the brink. Willy introduced the 2010 Holiday Food Drive Co-Chairs, Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty and Annie Morhauser, owner of AnnieGlass, who both expressed great appreciation for the way our community always comes through to help their neighbors in need.
Ryan Coonerty will continue to serve as Co-Chair in 2011 along with Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church in Aptos. Pastor Schlaepfer related his personal story of being raised by a single mom after the death of his father. He discussed the insecurity a child feels when there is nothing to eat and how the generosity of neighbors can change that feeling of insecurity to a feeling of security. We feel very fortunate to have Rene, with his infectious enthusiasm and drive, on board for the 2011 Holiday Food Drive.
Rene and Laurie Schlaepfer
Willy took the stage again to acknowledge all of the Holiday Food Drive Can Award winners and presented special awards to the heavy hitters, each of whom came up to accept their awards and talk briefly about how they met the aggressive goals they had set for themselves. An atmosphere of good-natured competition filled the air as Plantronics took the Heavyweight Award for the most pounds overall, which had previously been won by Twin Lakes Church. A little competitive spirit can be a good thing when it motivates people to go beyond what they think they might be able to do.
Perhaps the most heartfelt moment was when the 2011 Hunger Fighters of Year, Jolly Bilstad and Midge Morrison of the United Presbyterian Church in Watsonville, accepted their awards and proclamations. “It’s humbling to receive this honor,” said Jolly. “ We firmly believe no one should be hungry and that’s why all of us do what we do.” Find out more about the 2011 Hunger Fighters of the Year.
Every pound raised during the Holiday Food Drive is being distributed by Second Harvest’s network of 200 local agencies and programs and their 3,000 volunteers. Together these agencies provide food and hope to 50,000 Santa Cruz County residents each month, half of whom are kids. A short video highlighting several of the agencies and the work that they do was shown at the dinner. Watch the Video