Story provided by Junior Service League of Stillwater
It’s Fall and that means the Harvest II Food Drive is right around the corner! This community-wide food drive has been coordinated by The Junior Service League of Stillwater for 31 years. It is both a valued tradition and a worthy mission. Year after year, this community joins together to donate food, give financial support and volunteer their time to provide a ‘second harvest’ of the season, Harvest II. The first major food contribution is generously raised by Oklahoma State University’s Greek Life and Student Government. These hard-working students provide 1/3 of the overall amount, year after year, just prior to their Harvest Carnival event. JSL would like to recognize and thank these students for their generosity to this cause. In total, more than 500 community volunteers help to collect, sort, box, and distribute over 50,000 pounds of food to area agencies. Scouts, school clubs and organizations, churches, and businesses all give their time to volunteer. Over the last 31 years of Harvest II, JSL has estimated over one million pounds of food has been donated. That is quite an accomplishment and it could not happen if it weren’t for the overwhelming support we receive in the Stillwater and Perkins area.
Laura Gose Rickman is chairing Harvest II this year (for a 2nd time) and feels very passionate about this mission. She has been part of the Stillwater Junior Service League for 5 years. “Approximately 20% of Oklahoma children don’t get the food they need. Stillwater and Perkins are not immune to this problem. Harvest II is a community-wide food drive that was started over 30 years ago to help put food in the hands of citizens that are food insecure. We work with several local agencies to ensure this food reaches the hands that need it most. With the support of local schools, banks, and corporations, we have been able to collect around 50,000 lbs of food each year. I am truly humbled every year by how many people come to help us pack food and the amount of food donated.” – Laura Gose Rickman, 2019 Harvest II Chair
The Harvest II boxes and barrels will be located at Stillwater schools, Perkins schools, and participating businesses and churches in the area. Donations will be accepted from October 21st through November 7th. The area agencies that receive donations from Harvest II are COCAA, Mission of Hope, Salvation Army, Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services, Neighborhood Ministries, Payne County Youth Services, Cowboys with Compassion, Our Daily Bread, Central Oklahoma Adult and Teen Challenge, and Operation Christmas. In addition to the food donations, monetary donations are made to these groups at the beginning of each summer to help them through the last months before the next Harvest II. Through donations given to JSL and Harvest II, these agencies can continue to provide food to those in need throughout the year.
The success of Harvest II is the result of the continued support and participation from the community. So many individuals, businesses, churches, and students in the Stillwater area donate food, time, and efforts to Harvest II each year. We are truly thankful for their service and the sponsors that make this mission possible. For more questions on Harvest II, how you can donate or volunteer, please contact Harvest II Chair Laura Gose Rickman at 405-612-1535, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit JSL social media pages, or visit the website at www.stillwaterjsl.com. We are looking forward to partnering with the community to make the 2019 Harvest II Food Drive the best one yet!
The purpose of the Junior Service League of Stillwater is exclusively educational and charitable. We aim to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of its members for voluntary participation in community affairs and to demonstrate the effectiveness of trained volunteers.