HURLOCK — The Parks’ Family Christmas made Banner headlines last Christmas for the unusual way they celebrated at their annual party. To observe the holiday the Parks and Hooper families asked each guest to bring items for their church’s food pantry. That drive brought 309 items for distribution to those in need.
According to Barbara Hooper, imagining clerical supervisor at Shore Medical Center at Easton and main event organizer, “It was a huge success to say the least! Lots of people had food because we all gave so generously.” The two families agreed to honor the 4th of July in the same way with a goal of 500 items. Barbara explained in her party invitation, “Most of us will be celebrating the 4th of July with family cookouts and lots of great food – while some struggle daily to have enough food to feed their families. We give at Thanksgiving, we give during Christmas but needs are ALL throughout the year. The opportunity to contribute was expanded this time to include employees at Barbara’s workplace.
The result of the two collections was astounding – 526 items! Donations went to the Crossroads Community Church in Hurlock who partner with St. Andrews Episcopal Mission Church and its priest, Fr. Bryan Glancey. For several years a food pantry at St. Andrews, spearheaded by Fr. Glancey and staffed with volunteers, has fed the unemployed, the recently laid off, and many working poor.
Barbara says, “When Father Glancey saw all the food, he just kept saying over and over – This is such a blessing – this is such a blessing! I really thought he was going to cry and I had to hold back myself. What a moment to be a part of.”
Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.