Sunday, March 4, 2012

Communities Coming Together to Give Back

I'm a member of The Pottstown Mercury's TownSquare blogging community. All of us TownSquare bloggers are part of other organizations and communities as well. But overall, we are all members of the Pottstown-area community, and now we are all teaming up in order to give back to our central community.

The Mercury announced last week that it would be collaborating with the TownSquare bloggers on the Fill the Media Lab Challenge.

The challenge is to collect enough food items to "virtually" fill the Community Media Lab, located at The Mercury's offices, with the food then being donated to local food pantries. The goal is to collect 20,000 (nutritious) food items as well as 1,000 containers of laundry detergent between now and April 8.

Why "virtually" fill? Well, we want to make sure that the food is getting to the pantries as quickly as it comes in, so the donations will be counted and then "pinned" to a Fill the Media Lab pinboard on Pinterest.

Let's (virtually) fill this space!

But The Mercury is not the only place where donations can be dropped off. Donation points have been set up at multiple locations throughout the area. Many of the drop-off sites are being featured by the different TownSquare bloggers, such as Positively Pottstown, 52 Ways to Wake Up a Week, and The Sanatoga Post. This handy-dandy map is also a great way to keep track of the locations where you can drop off items.

I'm also very happy to say that another one of my own communities, Ursinus College, has also pledged to take on the challenge and is a collection site.

Ursinus students have been asked to bring non-perishable food items to the UCARE (Ursinus Center for Advocacy, Responsibility and Engagement) office by March 16. They hope to collect a total of 100 items to contribute to The Mercury's overall goal of 20,000. Ursinus has a strong history of giving back to the local community and so it is only natural that they would take on this challenge and wish to help the area food pantries.

The idea for the Fill the Media Lab Challenge came from an article in The Mercury focusing on the fact that this winter has seen shortages in food pantries as a result of increasing food and fuel prices. When food pantries, such as The Cluster and the North Coventry Food Pantry, are not able to offer the food provisions and "luxuries", like laundry detergent, that many families have come to rely on, these families have very little to fall back on.

Let's show these families that they can fall back on their community in times of need. Individual communities, like Ursinus College, can come together to make a small contribution that will have a large impact.

To donate, visit any of the collection sites on the above map or bring food to The Mercury Community Media Lab, Hanover and King streets in Pottstown.

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