Drop - Knock - Leave
During this unprecedented time of cancellations, closures and social distancing, there are families in our community who are struggling with food insecurity. When we learned of a large number of local children and families without access or transportation to food pantries, we launched the Drop-Knock-Leave Initiative to fill this void. Like everyone else, we did not plan or budget for a pandemic. Without our amazing volunteers and donors, none of this work would be possible. Our ongoing cost for this initiative is growing weekly and we need your help. You can volunteer or make a financial donation below. We are all in this together!
All needs vetted by social workers, case managers, and our community partners - Communities in Schools, Resource for Independent Living, MCV/VCU Health and VA Dept. of Health.
Video credit: Joe Mahoney Richmond Times Dispatch
MAKE A DONATION
The number of children and families we are serving has more than quadrupled over the past month. At this point, we are assisting 150+ local families in need each week. Without our amazing volunteers and donors, none of this would be possible. The ongoing cost for this initiative has grown to $2500 per week and we need your help. Make a Donation and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to lend your support to combat food insecurity in our community. We are all in this together!
Bridging RVA is registered with the IRS as a 501c3 nonprofit. All donations are tax deductible.
How It Works
Volunteers arrive at our distribution site where they pick up bags of food and receive contact information for recipients.
Everyone who will receive food will be advised that a delivery is on the way. We will also instruct them to come outside after those making deliveries leave.
When volunteers arrive at the delivery address, they DROP off bags of food on the porch, KNOCK on the door and LEAVE.
No handshakes, hugging or hanging around. Our delivery volunteers are not coming into direct contact with the recipients.
We are requiring every volunteer to read, understand and agree to the CDC volunteer recommendations and safety standards.
From Idea to Reality
When our Drop-Knock-Leave initiative began, we stepped into a lot of unknowns: What will be the size and scope of the initiative? How long will it last? How much will it cost? Will volunteers support this initiative in the midst of a pandemic.? Needless to say, the need, the longevity, the cost and volunteer support have far exceeded what we would have imagined. Due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, we have made more than 5,000 deliveries to the homes of people in need. These weekly deliveries include food, hygiene and cleaning supplies. We have been overwhelmed by the support of our community and still need your support going forward.
The Evolution of Our Drop-Knock-Leave Initiative
WEEK 1 - MARCH 19-21
Our first week was a success! We were able to safely deliver food bags, fruit and other items to the homes of 145 children. Although this initiative was launched in the midst of a rather confusing and uncertain time, we were blown away by the attitudes and willing spirits of the volunteers and recipients. Although we didn't come into direct contact with those we served, we did receive a lot of texts and phone calls afterward. Here are a few texts and notes we received:
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"Ty so much this is a huge blessing to our family."
"Just want to say thank you 🙏"
WEEK 2 - MARCH 26-28
Another successful weekend. Our number of families served grew this week! We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and the commitment of our volunteers. Due to the social distancing guidelines, we staggered pick up times to every 15 minutes for two hours. Each and every volunteer showed up at their exact time and followed all of the CDC social distancing guidelines.
Here are a few texts we received from volunteers:
"What a beautiful morning we had. Glad to be part of this wonderful outreach. Hope to get a spot again in the near future. Thanks for all you're doing."
"Appreciate all your hard work. Things couldn't have gone smoother. Stay well."
WEEK 4 - APRIL 9-11
This week was one for the books. In addition to the bags of food being packed each week by our donors and volunteers, we've been picking up and adding Feed More's weekend bags to our deliveries. These are the bags children, who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year, are given to ensure they'll have something to eat over the weekend.
This past week would've been Spring Break and there were no weekend bags scheduled with Feed More. Thanks to our Communities In Schools Program Coordinator and the Chesterfield Food Bank, we didn't miss a beat. Talk about grateful! It really does take a village to survive a pandemic.
WEEK 5 - APRIL 16-18
We had our largest distribution this week! Thanks to our amazing donors and volunteers, we were able to deliver food to all of these families (red markers) and more over the weekend. Many of these families include children and do not have access or transportation to a food bank.
As we gear up for this coming weekend, our numbers continue to grow and we need your support. Our average weekly cost for this initiative is between $2,000-$2,500. Learn more and make a donation at BridgingRVA.org
WEEK 6 - APRIL 23-25
When this weekly food relief initiative began on March 21, we thought it’d last for several weeks. As you can see from the graph, that’s not been the case and the number of people in need has grown significantly. As long as the funding and volunteer support continues, we remain committed to these children and families who are atruggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we celebrated our amazing delivery volunteers this morning with fresh coffee, doughnuts and other goodies. It's a "we" thing! We are in this together. We belong to one another. We will emerge from this stronger and better!
WEEK 7 - APRIL 30-MAY 2
Every Monday morning the ball starts rolling for the upcoming deliveries at the end of the week. Those making deliveries are on the frontlines and doing a phenomenal job. every weekend. At the same time, there are a number of people working behind the scenes to make things run smoothly every Saturday. This week we wanted to give a shout out to those who are shopping, loading, unloading and packing bags each week. Without these wonderful people, we could not get this work done week in and week out. We appreciate and value all you do!
WEEK 3 - APRIL 2-4
Wow! What an amazing 3 days! Our numbers grew this week and we were able to provide food relief to 100+ families in need. In order to meet all the needs, we added 6 new delivery routes. We published the new volunteer opportunities and they filled up in less than an hour. Although we had to start covering our faces this weekend, we could still see the smiles in everyone's eyes. Great feedback from everyone today. Have to pass along the following from one volunteer:
* "All done. God bless you all and Bridging RVA. Wonderful day. My heart is full. I am from a family of 5 kids and delivered to a family with 5 kids. God had this plan for me today."
WEEK 8 - MAY 7-9
As you can see from this graph, our Drop-Knock-Leave food relief initiative has grown every week. When this initiative began, we really stepped out into some unknowns. However based on our past and ongoing initiatives, we felt strongly that our community would rally around this need, As the need for assistance has grown, the response from people who care has also grown.
As long as we're able and needed, we intend to continue this initiative.
WEEK 9- MAY 14-16
Our mission: Connecting Individuals, Groups and Cause to Advance Common Good in Our Community
When we ran into a roadblock with our need for peanut butter and jelly, we saw our community respond in a powerful way. Local stores were limiting purchases of peanut butter to 1-2 jars per customer, but our friends at a nearby Starbucks partnered with us for a community wide donation drive. In 3 days, we collected 200+ jars of peanut butter and 174 jars of jelly.
This is a beautiful example of what happens when community forms around a mission to support the common good of our community, A big thank you to all who donated.