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A Story from the Rocky Mountain Region: “The Intriguing and Absolutely True Tale of an Interfaith Pantry Created Through SHARE THE CARE™”

 

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    Reverend Kay Krebs

    A Story from the Rocky Mountain Region

    I’ve got the kind of deafness that comes with age: I managed to get through Iliff School of Theology (Denver, Colorado) by sitting next to Jane Barton, leaning to the left, and reading her notes when lecturers mumbled key phrases. I should give her a copy of my degree, to hang with the others she has on her wall.

    I continue to keep an eye on Jane’s work as Community Educator for Life Quality Institute (Denver, Colorado), and last summer, she took our Conifer/Bailey community, which runs along Highway 285, under her wing. Making community in the mountains is tough. Many people move here to “get away.” There are the added hours in the day spent on commuting “down (and up) the hill,” and life at this altitude is hard. As a result, mountain people can be lonely and isolated.

    During a series of workshops, Jane prepared a trained core group of facilitators, leaders, and coordinators for our community, ready to serve on emergency teams. One pressing need is for emergency food when families hit a rough patch. Using the SHARE THE CARE™ model, the Interfaith Pantry was born. The Interfaith Pantry has its own website where communications, volunteer schedules, and food donations are managed. Through referrals from the Mountain Resource Center and Park County Crisis Center, families connect with one of our adult volunteers at the Interfaith Pantry and box up an emergency supply of 1-2 weeks of food. The adult volunteers come from 3 area churches, and the youth group from my church handles the stocking and maintenance. Volunteers schedule themselves, just 1-2 hours per month.

    Thank you, Life Quality Institute, for helping us do the work we are called to do. There is much more to be done, and the care model you taught us is helping us build community.

    Rev. Kay Krebs is pastor of Deer Park United Methodist Church near Bailey, Colorado

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