By Susan Bromley
– St. Patty’s Day is fast approaching and it’s time for Sharin’ o’ the Green.
The March fundraiser for the Ortonville Community Emergency Fund is getting a boost from an anonymous donor, who, in the spirit of Roger Duval who founded Sharin’ O’ the Green, is offering to match up to $2,500 in donations for the food pantry.
“The fund has been depleted, but we have a new anonymous donor that has stepped up,” said Margaret Lee, OCEF treasurer. “Talk about jaw-dropping. It’s wonderful, we are looking for volunteers all the time to keep things going.”
This is a slow time of the year for contributions to OCEF, the non-profit organization which provides a food pantry for low-income families residing within the Brandon School District. OCEF has a client base of nearly 200 families, with 120-135 families per month visiting the pantry to pick up a week’s worth of groceries according to family size. On average, it costs about $8,000 to keep the pantry stocked with food for these families as well as offer them a $30 gift card for fresh food from Bueche’s and a voucher to Cook’s Farm Dairy for two gallons of milk once a month.
In March, many of the regular donors to OCEF are wintering in southern states, the deluge of holiday donations from Thanksgiving and Christmas have been depleted, and donations have not yet arrived for the Easter distribution. Adding to the trouble this year and last is a lack of volunteers, and thus cancellation of one of OCEF’s biggest annual fundraisers, the September rummage sale.
Sharin’ O’ the Green should help the pantry tremendously, if past participation is any indication.
Duval, who began the fundraiser anonymously in 2009 and continued it even after his death in 2013 through a bequest to OCEF, sparked an event that truly brings the community together.
“People really seem to like to play the match game,” said Lee. “As soon as the jars and Shamrocks come out, donations come in and it’s a real blessing. This will keep us going.”
Sharin’ o’ the Green donation jars will appear March 1 in the community at The Citizen newspaper office, 12 South St.; Papa Bella’s Pizza, 425 Mill St.; Ken’s Coney Island, 100 S. Ortonville Road; and Bueche’s Food World, 400 N. Ortonville Road.
Checks can also be made payable to OCEF, and mailed to PO Box 282, Ortonville MI 48462. Put ‘Sharin’ o’ the Green’ in the memo line. Donations can also be made via Paypal account at www.oceffoodpantry.org. Donations will be matched through the end of March.