Wow, look how far we have come!

    After Mother died in February 2010, I wanted to see that her love for her “Little Burg”, our schools and all “her kids” that attended our schools would continue to be felt by all. Mother and Dad always taught that “caring for others in their time of need” was our most important job in life. I had to be sure to pass that on to my daughter and her future family. Luckily the Gilkerson Family, the Dobbins Family and my own family wanted Mothers work to continue as well!

    With our families support, community member’s support, and continued Oldtime Farming Festival support, Mom’s work continued. Our first year, 2010, was very uneventful. School lunch funds were given so kids without money could still receive a lunch. This had been provided by Mom for years. Student council members were given money to buy Christmas gifts for our families in need. The Gilkerson food drive, the Oldtime Farming Festival donation and our family donations made it possible for me to put together all the food our families needed for Christmas break. Just work I had helped Mom do the last few years. Overall we spent $1050.00 and raised $1,287.81.

    Our second year, 2011, was spent getting the students involved in service projects. Mrs. G. and FCCLA did Easter baskets for the children of 8 families and we included boxes of needed food items for the family. FCCLA continued their service project help by doing all the shopping for gifts and having them ready for the families at Christmas. Once again the Gilkerson family food drive, Oldtime Farming Festival donation and our families saw the needed food for distribution was available for Christmas.

    We had picked up some medical expenses for a child but overall we did well. Our expenditures were $530.00 and we had raised $948.97. I had gotten good at buying specials throughout the year and saving a lot on our food costs.

    Our third year, 2012, was a little more uneventful. Same supportive activities at Christmas, same food drives and an increase in community support. We did not have to spend as much money because of community help with all the gifts and most food needs were donated. We began to receive referrals from ISS for families with greater food needs than the 3 day allowance they gave. Our job of filling in the gaps began and continued throughout the year. Our expenditures were only $275.00 and our savings was up to $792.95.

    Our forth year, 2013, was the year everything changed. We had helped a child out with glasses in February but the Christmas food needs were unbelievable! We were no longer going to provide gifts. Our mission was to see our school children got 3 good meals and a healthy snack daily. Without our help, so many children were only going to experience hunger over the school breaks. For Christmas break we had referrals from the school for 86 clients that needed food for the 10 day break.

    We needed to have enough food to provide 3440 meals/snacks. You could not move in my home the week before distribution. Food was everywhere! Stacks of canned goods were covered in my garage with electric blankets to keep them from freezing. Getting community support was so important. Every friend and person I knew was asked to help. Milford Church of Christ became a supporter. Dave and Gloreena Gilkerson worked all week with me to buy and prepare the food. We were joined by Pat Barnes and Kerry Dobbins for food distribution. We had purchased $3,650.00 of food in addition to the donations collected from everywhere. Income was up and $6,209.47 had been raised for Jacque’s Kids. This was a true blessing from God for only He knew what was ahead of us in 2014.

    The Cordle, Dobbins and Gilkerson families were concerned about our continued success. Changes had to be made to cover the expense and work load during distribution times. Jacque’s Kids had always been a non-profit organization but now I had to make long term plans for our continued success. Community involvement was needed as well as their financial support if we were to continue.

    The Jacqueline McCalla-Cordle Children’s Fund was set up on Mothers birthday, December 27, 2013. By-laws and reports were filed with the IRS and the Attorney General’s office. A Board of Advisors was established and our first meeting was to be in March of 2014.

    Our fifth year, 2014, was going to be filled with lots of needs and more than one food distribution time was going to be needed. It was very clear that help was going to be needed during the Spring break to feed our area children. My house became a grocery store once again. Dave Gilkerson and Kerry Dobbins helped to distribute the food to the families. Ten days of food was prepared for the 23 clients referred to us by the schools. Calls of need continued to come in during the summer from ISS and the school once school started in the fall. At the November board meeting, the board accepted the Dobbins family offer of space for a pantry in their store. This would allow us to have food available on a daily bases.

    We were alerted by the school that the Christmas food distribution need was the greatest yet. We were going to need to provide 118 people food for 16 days of break! We needed enough food to cover 7, 552 meals/snacks. My house would not be big enough to hold all the needed food. The Gilkerson family helped arrange for Free Will Baptist Church to lend us their heated shelter house. With lots of family and friend help, the food was moved to there. I spent hours stacking food that week and soon realized one person could no longer handle the needs before us. Kerry Dobbins and I started passing food out at 8: AM, my daughter, Ammie and friend David Zitello came in the afternoon to help. We were finally done at 7pm.

    In the year 2014, we served 170 clients, provided 87 days of food which equaled 11,580 meals/snacks. We actually spent $7,838.11 on food. Trilliun Farms (Croton) had given 900 dozen of eggs that we shared with all the area pantries. We also traded eggs for food items we needed with some Columbus pantries. Being creative really was important in getting the food together. The community and family support was terrific. Our income was $12,022.97 and would start 2015 with $4184.86 in the bank.

    For our sixth year, 2015 saw the Jacqueline McCalla-Cordle Children’s Fund on the move! The Board of Advisors was solidified with members from the area churches supporting the organization. The board members are our workers and their job completions are a must for our continued success. The founding three families remain very active but enjoy welcoming the Foushee family, Centerburg United Methodist and H2O churches, 3C Church and the Milford Church of Christ into the organization. Together we have provided food to families throughout the year. These referrals have come from ISS, the schools and area churches.

    We gave out blizzard packs of food that contained 4 days of food so families could feed their children when school was cancelled. This 4 day food supply given in January covered 116 clients. A food distribution was given to 19 families, 95 clients, during the 10 day spring break. Both the blizzard pack and spring break distributions were from the Fuller Center. This was made possible by the 3 C Church members and their work to prepare and distribute the food.

    The board realized the need of a permanent pantry site to answer the emergency needs as well as a big enough area to address the scheduled distribution times. The Dobbins have donated the basement of their store at 12 West Main Street for a permanent pantry. They will provide shelving, utilities and renewable 10 year lease for $1.00. My sister, Erin Cordle, has a friend whose family had a grant Foundation and we qualified to submit an application. The Frank M. and Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation grant for $25,407.98 has provided the necessary means for pantry site development and the necessary purchase of equipment to assure food safety. Completion of the pantry will be in the summer of 2016. The development of food supplier agreements will continue to assist in purchasing food at cost effective prices.

    Our Christmas break distribution was our biggest one ever! We provided 24 families, 124 people, with food for 16 days. A total of 7,936 meals/snacks were provided following the USDA food requirement levels. This truly was a week of community working to serve the community. Volunteers from our three supportive churches collected and transported the food on Sunday to the Free Will Baptist Church shelter house. Each day during the week of preparation, a supporting church group came to pack a different category of food. Monday the Methodist and H2O churches, Tuesday the Milford Church of Christ, and Wednesday the 3 C Church were busy packing food. Our board members and their families were busy the rest of the week packing fresh and frozen food items.

    The privacy of our clients shall always be respected. For that reason, our actual board members complete the food distribution to the clients. This year’s total for services provided has been unbelievable!! We have given 78 families, 386 clients, food assistance for a total of 106 days of food. Our total for meals provided was 15,116, an increase of 3,536 over last year’s meals.

    At the end of the year of 2014, we had a balance of $4,184.86 to cover food needs until the Christmas food/fund drives in 2015. At the end of 2015, we only have a balance of $1,924.90. We are behind $2259.96 and a year ahead of us where needs is going to be even greater.

    As we enter our seventh year, 2016, the board has become very active in managing the future of this organization. With the by-laws and our mission as our guide, all the policies and procedures for operation have been established. Job descriptions for each board position have been developed. The board has begun the process to provide the community with a permanent food pantry.

    With the pantry site opening this summer, funding to purchase the necessary food becomes the number one concern. Once the pantry is up and running, a partnership with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank will be sought. Application has already been made but site approval is needed before partnership can develop. This would help to buy food in the fall for the Christmas distribution of food is completed.

    Community fund raising events will need to be held to cover the Spring break food distribution. COMMUNITY SUPPORT IS VITAL! Our children need to feel community love not the pain of hunger!! We count on the community to attend the fundraisers, and to continue to give your financial and food donations.

    The board is in the process of completing the “2017 application for program investment” with the United Way of Knox County. These funds would not be available until 2017. The board is also looking for other possible grants to aid in the purchasing of food for the pantry. We are proud to say all donations are used to purchase food. All operating and management expenses have been covered by the founding families.

    Our March 26, 2016 food distribution is fast approaching! Please send your donations to: Jacque Cordle Children’s Fund, 3129 Columbus Rd. Centerburg, Ohio 43011. A donation maybe made in honor of or in memory of another person.

    We will send a birthday card, a sympathy card or a joyous event card to the person, family or organization you wish to receive the honorary donation.

    Remember to include their address with your donation. The Jacque Cordle Children’s Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization and your donation maybe tax deductible.

    We have come a long way in seven short years! Our future in addressing community needs for food has never looked better. Thank you community for continuing to show our children the kind of love my Mother gave every day of her life...

You are the reason she so loved and believed in this “Little Burg”!

May God continue to bless us all!

History submitted by J. Ann Cordle, Director  Jacqueline McCalla-Cordle Children’s Fund