Every winter the rains come. With the rain comes gray skies, drizzle, an occasional storm, and quite a few complaints.
But in Beaverton, Oregon there is always a ray of sunshine.
The Sunshine Food Pantry has served the needs of families for 28 years. Founder Sharon Straus started the pantry as a cub scout project and ran the pantry out of her garage until 2007 until the city forced her to move because of the high volume of traffic in her residential neighborhood.
A victim of it’s own success, helpful volunteers rushed in and quickly found a new the pantry a new home.
Reopening her doors only two weeks after the shutdown she and her family quickly reassumed providing food to families, and especially children.
“No child should go to bed hungry”, she says.
To help support her mission, my family organized a 9/11 food drive in our neighborhood this past weekend. Today, I delivered about 45 bags of food, clothing and blankets courtesy of our Summer Lake community.
When I got there, the pantry was a buzz. People shopped for food. Volunteers cleaned and unpacked food. Sharon herself was answering voice mails.
Amid the buzz and under the warm sun we unloaded, making big piles around the entrance. Sharon’s little dog Katie even helped out by climbing in our van and snuffing around.
When it was all done Sharon took the time to chat with me and pose for a picture even though there were several people waiting for her. Then she thanked me with a hug . It is a testament to her compassion that Sharon will stop and talk no matter how busy she is. Saying goodbye, I closed the tailgate and was about to open the driver’s door when I noticed that there was one thing I had forgotten.
Katie stood looking at me from my driver’s seat. I guess it was the little dog’s way of saying thank-you. After a proper farewell, she allowed me to carry her back to her owner’s loving arms.
As long as the Sunshine Food Pantry is open and as long as Sharon is there to give a smile and thanks, there will always be a ray of sunshine in Beaverton.