Bertram Rantin: Comfort in times of crisis

brantin @thestate.com (803) 771-8306June 2, 2013 

La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Lexington made a comforting stop at the Columbia Ronald McDonald House late last week.

The store delivered several pieces of furniture as part of the company’s nationwide initiative to help provide “comfort for a cause” for Ronald McDonald House Charities chapters nationwide.

“When we came to the house in February, we sat with the families and realized how the comforts of home can impact a child’s healing process,” said Dustin DeGoursey, general manager of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Lexington. “This donation is our small way of showing we care for these families in need.”

La-Z-Boy employees also are gathering items from the Ronald McDonald House’s wish list to donate.

The Ronald McDonald House annually serves more than 350 families of children being treated for serious illnesses at area hospitals.

“We enjoy working with La-Z-Boy because it is their donations that give our house that home-away-from home atmosphere when families open the door to their room,” said Ronald McDonald House operations director Elizabeth Atkinson.

“When a family comes back to the house and they sink into a comfy couch after spending the day sitting by their child’s side in the hospital, and you see that look of relief on their face, you realize how much of an impact the comfort of a chair can have,” she added.

A first class delivery for hunger relief

Midlands residents and others statewide made their own special deliveries against hunger recently.

Area residents donated a combined 172,527 pounds of food – or 224,285 meals – during the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive last month. Of the total donations, 81,791 pounds were collected in the Midlands, 15,582 in the Pee Dee and 75,154 in the Upstate.

The food will help residents in the 20 South Carolina counties served by Harvest Hope Food Bank, which partnered with the letter carriers in the drive.

“Everyone really came together to make this year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive a complete success, and we are overwhelmed by the community’s generosity and the amount of food collected,” said Harvest Hope CEO Denise Holland.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is the nation’s largest single-day food drive and one of Harvest Hope’s biggest of the year.

“Harvest Hope wants to thank all the letter carriers who took on the enormous duty of picking up all this food on their routes and working so hard to bring it in safely, and all the volunteers who dedicated their free time to working at all those post office loading docks helping unload the food,” Holland said.

A benefit for the animal kingdom

Neighbors from Shandon, surrounding Columbia neighborhoods and the greater Midlands donated 1,655 pounds of pet food and cat litter to the city of Columbia Animal Shelter and $2,332 to The Animal Mission during the recent fifth annual Red Truck event.

The City Shelter also received other animal-care supplies including paper towels, bleach, detergent, litter boxes, crates, trash bags, bowls and toys.

Since it was started, the Red Trucks event has generated 6,123 pounds of pet food for the Columbia Animal Shelter.

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