Lola Dunsirn celebrated her 100th birthday last month with a special request: Skip the gifts and give to the Sahuarita Food Bank instead.
About 175 residents from the Green Valley RV Resort Park where she lives listened. The result: $840 and lots of food.
“I was there at the weigh-in, and it was just over 300 pounds,” said Jan Carrie Steven, a food bank volunteer. It completely filled the back of our car and truck.”
“The people at the RV Park are crazy generous.”
Dunsirn, whose actual birthday is today, is among several people who've decided to get creative when it comes to celebrating special occasions. The Sahuarita Food Bank, operated out of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, loves and encourages it.
The idea has been well-received, with guests and celebrants realizing the donations will help local families who are struggling.
A party to celebrate Glenn and Coleen Hoelscher’s 60th anniversary in 2016, at the resort came with this request: Please do not bring cards. If you feel you have to do something, any small donation to the food bank would be most appropriate.
At Mavis Kennedy’s 85th birthday, a grocery card donation and a raffle for an afghan resulted in an additional 100 pounds of food and $300 for the food bank.
Steven, a winter visitor from Canada who spends several months each year at the resort park on Duval Mine Road, knows there were many donations from the park before her time. But now that she writes the newsletter, she is recording donations and numbers.
“And my hub and I continue to bring in food almost weekly from the two baskets at the GVRVR Clubhouse,” she said.
Food Bank Volunteer Coordinator Sue Eaton said local Brownie Troop 264 and Girl Scout Troop 18 recently donated 200 boxes of cookies, calling it “their gift of caring.”
Still, the need persists.
“We continue to need everything,” Eaton said. “We always need staples for families. Summer is hard when children are out of school.”
Contact Green Valley News freelance reporter Ellen Sussman at firstname.lastname@example.org.