Stories of Ordinary People Making a Positive Difference: Kathy McGrane’s Story

This is one of many stories from a wide variety of sources and a multitude of forms contributed by people upon request for my 70th birthday.   They will be posted without editing, with the attribution that was with them.  I will be posting these regularly until they run out next year sometime: if you have others to add, please send them to me.

I would like to tell a story about Jim, my 83-year-old brother in law, married to my oldest sister.  He is the father of six children and many grandchildren.  He has always worked hard to support his family and everyone else can count on him to listen if you need a listener. He is a good man!

Since his retirement he has taken over the pick-up, upkeep and training for his local food shelf. He actually built the shelving, organized the way food is stored, obtained freezers and brings forth volunteers. He is like the great leader and organizer of the food shelf and volunteers.

He personally visited local stores to get food that would otherwise have been sent to landfills. It reached the point that the stores would call him when they had food to be picked up. It was not always food — sometimes there were clothing and other items that had been returned to the stores or the seasonal change items that families might need.

This of course meant many hours sorting food, stocking shelves, obtaining boxes and bags for the food shelf clients. He also spent times in the food shelf assisting the clients. One of his daughters and her husband have picked up some of the work that Jim used to do. Yes, he has slowed down, so he has trained someone to take over.

You know the expiration dates on food? Well in most cases those are dates that it is best to sell the product by. Most products have a shelf life well beyond those dates. He made sure that no food was left without being used. There is a trailer court community not far from his home. Most of the people living there are Hispanic immigrants and low income or no income families. Jim made sure that if the food shelf had dented cans or food that would not be picked up by food shelf clients and to eliminate it from becoming garbage, he personally delivered it to the trailer court community with no questions asked. The food always disappeared.

Jim is not so healthy anymore. He actually has some severe heart problems. We will find out more about his health this week. He is big hearted, kind and caring about the world around him. He has definitely worked to help his local community. I just want to acknowledge this good man for all of his good work.

About jofacilitator

On Sept 1, 2020, I will celebrate 50 years of work with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, facilitating meetings, groups, communities, and organizations, making it possible for ordinary people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives.
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