Manna Storehouse Recognizes Volunteers

Manna Storehouse Inc, an all volunteer organization serving the needy in Parker County since 1985, once again recognized the service of its volunteers at a luncheon on February 16 at Central Christian Church.   This is an annual event for Manna. This gathering provides the opportunity for the volunteers to meet the Board of Directors and discuss details about the everyday operations, plus lets the Board of Directors share our organizations future plans.   

A report from members of the board and directors of operations enumerated the contributions, monetary and service, that have allowed Manna in 2016 to serve over 21,000 Parker County clients (6,654 families) with groceries, clothing, household items, utility assistance, and prescription aid, and also distribute Salvation Army funds. Manna is funded by the United Way, foundations, churches, businesses and individuals and has no salaried employees. A large portion of the operating cost, as well as extra food purchases, is made possible by the income from Manna’s monthly sales of excess donated items from the community.  Linda Woodard, chair of the Manna Santa’s Helpers program at Christmas, reported that 1,423 children, more children than ever before, were provided clothing, shoes, and gifts, and also more Angels were adopted than ever before. Manna appreciates all the community support from Parker County.

A special recognition was given to John Good, who is retiring after 27 years of service as Manna’s Vice President.  Since 1990 he has managed bank accounts and investments, and has headed many maintenance and improvement projects to the facility. Janice Smith, presenting the award, said that after 27 years, it is difficult even to imagine the tasks that John has taken on. He was presented a plaque and a gift from the Board and volunteers.  Thank you John!

Jeff Williams was elected Vice President for the new term, with Catherine Smith and Susan Ross continuing as Recording and Corresponding Secretaries. James Woods continues as President and Becky Powell as Treasurer. New Board members elected for the next term included Charlotte LaGrone, David Rothrock, Pam Walker, and Linda Woodard.  Attached are a variety of pictures of our event.

Meet Michael Schutkowski

(Mike, Jr)

Say hello to our volunteers!

 

Mike is not really a “Jr.”, but he loves this story.  When he first arrived, a Manna volunteer took him to the office to find a temporary nametag to use while his nametag was being made.  They found was one that read “Mike Jr”.  He said “this will be perfect” since there are two other Mike volunteers.  Now he’s known only as Mike Jr.

Mike Jr. has been working at Manna about 8 months.   He can be located mainly working in the book cleaning and sorting area (a huge job!!). But if needed, he can be found loading and unloading furniture and accepting miscellaneous donations in the warehouse receiving and distribution area.  In this area, he is one of the first line representatives to the community and our clients.

Mike retired from the US Air Force in 1987 with more than 20 year of service to his country.  He came to this area in his final active military years being assigned to Carswell AFB.  He worked for Lockheed/General Dynamics for 5 ½ years before starting 10 years in his own lawn service business.

You can see in his personality how he loves helping people in need.  Mike takes the initiative to daily pickup breads and desserts, donated daily by Brookshires in Willow Park, and then brings them to Manna’s food pantry for distribution to our clients.     

Mike mentions he loves the work at Manna because he considers it “not work”.  He likes the fact that hours are flexible and everyone is a volunteer.  “It’s a great feeling to help others.”  He recently headed up securing T-Shirts for all volunteers.  The inscription on the shirt reads, “Manna is a Great Place to Volunteer”.  How True!!

Mike Jr. would like to invite anyone interested to drop by anytime and take a tour.  There’s a position for everyone at Manna to assist helping our Parker County Citizens.

Catherine Smith

                                  “The Original”

Manna Storehouse volunteer Catherine Smith has been a cornerstone of Manna since its conception and development in 1986.  At that time, numerous churches in the community decided to start an all volunteer organization to provide help for Parker County residents in need. Catherine was selected for the Board of Directors and currently serves as Secretary.
Catherine works several days a week as "Client Manager." In this role she works with all the clients who come in for assistance and determines what level of assistance they meet according to Manna Storehouse directives. Catherine is retired from the Mutual Building and Loan Association. That experience has been extremely helpful as Manna keeps expanding to meet the needs of more people who find themselves in difficult situations. During her limited spare time Catherine enjoys gardening, handwork and crafts, and playing bridge. She also enjoys time with her daughter and two grandchildren. Catherine is a most caring person, perfect for her role at Manna. One of the best things Catherine enjoys about Manna is feeling "in some small way" she helps enrich our community. All our volunteers know she helps improve lives of people in a "huge way." 

 Thank you Catherine.

Meet Melanie

One of the favorite shopping areas in the Manna Storehouse garage sale is the jewelry department, where you’ll find beads, silver, rings, watches, and much more.  But meet a special treasure behind the counter. 

Manna Storehouse was thrilled when Melanie begin volunteering in the jewelry department more than two years ago.  And if you know her, then you’ll understand why Manna regards Melanie as such a valuable “gem.” Melanie is doubly blessed, gifted with both amazing organizational skills and a servant's heart.  The jewelry department, under the care of Melanie and other treasured volunteers is so well organized and easy to browse, it’s no wonder the jewelry counter is such a popular place during garage sales.     

In her spare time, Melanie enjoys baking, reading and doing other volunteer work. She and her husband John, who is also a Manna volunteer, have three children Heath, Renee, and Emmett.  Melanie and John are members of the Northside Baptist church where they stress community service and giving back some of your time.

Melanie typically volunteers two to three days a week at Manna, splitting her time between the jewelry department and the Manna Storehouse client assistance area.  While she loves organizing and maintaining the jewelry area, her biggest pleasure is meeting with clients and forming a bond with them. “The Bible makes it very clear that we are here to serve rather than to be served,” says Melanie, “and nothing is more rewarding then helping your fellow man."

Melanie – thank you so much for your faithful service at Manna. You are indeed our “gem”!

Kendra

Meet Kendra

One of our favorite volunteers is Kendra. Kendra has been volunteering at Manna for over two years. She loves her work in the clothing room. She sorts donated clothes into Men, Women, and Children's and categorizes them and places on appropriate racks for Client selection. Kendra's parents, Kathy and Jim, are very supportive of the Manna Mission and the work Kendra does for us. She loves to work with the other volunteers and is always willing to do anything asked of her. Helping people is one of her favorite things. Kendra likes to stay busy. That's what lead her to begin spending some time every week with Manna. Also, with her desire be active, Kendra works a couple days a week at Albertsons Grocery Store, located right near Manna. There she distributes sample food items to the Albertsons customers. Kendra's hobbies include Zumba, Computer games, dancing, listening to music and reading.
Kendra we LOVE having you here!!

Gary Swanson

         It’s a good thing that Willow Park resident Gary Swanson dislikes being bored.  Following his retirement after 40 years at General Dynamics and the Computer Science Corporation, Gary wanted to do something to fill his free time that would also benefit the local community.  Gary discovered that serving at Manna Storehouse met both of those requirements, and has volunteered here faithfully since August 2013.  These days, Gary spends his Mondays and Fridays in Manna’s warehouse receiving area, where he specializes in checking and repairing donated electrical and electronic equipment.         

            When not volunteering at Manna, Gary enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Sue, and their three children and five grandchildren.  He also enjoys a number of hobbies, including golf, bridge, woodworking, and gardening. Gary says that the things that he enjoys most about Manna are “the great people who volunteer here,” and he looks forward to every day he can serve at Manna.  If you don’t know Gary, just look for the guy in a Texas Tech jacket with his name tag clipped to his cap and a smile on his face! 

            Gary, we are blessed every day that you spend at Manna!  Thanks so much for all you do!

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Check out our page here.