Dorena Kearney, an administrator at Greater Promise Church in Glassboro, and her team of volunteers welcomed the Hope Mobile, along with more than 20 Bank of America volunteers. Sponsored by Bank of America, the Hope Mobile pulled into the outdoor food pantry setup loaded with chicken, rice, eggs, potatoes, beans, apples, grapes, plums and much more for the food insecure community members gathered since early morning.
The feeling of the morning was one of gratitude, strength and community spirit as Bank of America’s Michelle Martino, Vice President, New Jersey Community Relations Manager, and her colleagues worked with Greater Promise Church volunteers to unpack scores of Hope Mobile boxes and line tables with bountiful food items.
Bringing more than hope to the Hope Mobile’s visit, the Bank of America team presented a check to the Food Bank of South Jersey for $27,500, a donation of support, community giving and neighborhood care by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
For people filling carts, bags, baskets and wagons with food items, the delivery was more than appreciated. Gathering food items were elderly locals, many living within walking distance of the Hope Mobile stop, as well as young families, residents currently unemployed or disabled, and senior citizens driven to the Hope Mobile stop by friends, family or neighbors. Greater Promise Church’s Dorena Kearney greeted all with an attentive ear and genuine compassion – it was clear that all in need gathered in that tiny dirt patch of ground off Academy Road were warmly and truly welcomed.
For Dorena Kearney, it is all God’s work. “It’s nothing but God here, nothing but God,” Kearney said, as she helped register newcomers to the food drop. “I live with no regrets. I live each day with no regrets. If I do not take the time to help someone in need, I would regret that – you must do onto others as you would have done to you. We all have the opportunity, every day, to live a life free of the regret of not helping a person in need.”
Aleesha Williams, 32, of Glassboro, volunteered to assist Kearney and other members of Greater Promise Church in helping to distribute food at the Hope Mobile drop. “I have always wanted to help others, and I have made it my mission on many instances to bring people into my life to help them,” Williams shared. “It has always been important to me to be a help and support to other people – you never know who is in need in your community, so it is always good to be ready to reach out and help.”
For the more than 20 volunteers from Bank of America, the Hope Mobile was a rewarding experience. “We are proud to support the Food Bank of South Jersey in its mission to end food insecurity in South Jersey,” Bank of America’s Michelle Martino said. “Being here today, seeing the impact of the Hope Mobile, we are honored to be able to support our community in partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey. Experiences like today, for our team at Bank of America, enrich our corporate culture and strengthen our community ties.”
Fred Martin, a disabled resident of Clayton, NJ, shared gratitude to Bank of America for its sponsorship of the Hope Mobile – and the devoted community outreach of Dorena Kearney and Greater Promise Church. “This Hope Mobile today is being staffed by some of the kindest, most caring folks I have ever known, especially Dorena,” he shared. “Everyone here is working toward a better day and a brighter reality for those of us in need, whether permanently or temporarily. There is good work being done here today, by good people – and the Food Bank of South Jersey.”