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How Bountiful Blessings volunteers are making a difference in their community



Every Thursday morning, community members are out at Mt. Zion Restoration Church in Gastonia volunteering with the Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry.


From first-timers like Shamica Mason.


“I want to do a good deed and give back to the community. This is my first time volunteering,” Mason said.


To those who have been volunteering for years.


“About 11-12 years,” Martha Goodlett added.


Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry started 19 years ago feeding 300 people a week. But since the pandemic struck in March of 2020, the need has skyrocketed. They’ve now fed more than 430,000 people over that three-year period.


“People are in a lot of need and everything,” volunteer Sheila Cobb said. “That’s what we’re here for.. to serve.”


“It’s eye-opening to see how many people are actually hurting,” volunteer Bruce Trudelle added.


Trudelle has been volunteering for a little over a month.


“I’m helping a whole bunch of people,” Trudelle said. “We came by the first time and fell in love with it.”


He volunteers once a week with his wife.


“I was a meat manager for Publix Supermarket for 30 years,” Trudelle said. “I’ve never seen this many ham slices in my life, and it’s great.”


Martha Goodlett said this is her church home.


“I love my church. I got baptized and everything and I love to come here and work for my family church,” Goodlett explained.

But volunteering has extra meaning for Goodlett.


“I used to be homeless,” she said. “I’ve been in my apartment about 6-7 months now and I thank God. You're gonna make me cry, and I thank God to be in my place.”


She said giving back brings her such joy.


“This is what we do,” Goodlett said. “We love this so much.”


And these volunteers put WCNC Charlotte’s Sarah French to work as well!


French also presented a $5,000 check to Bountiful Blessings from the TEGNA Foundation, Steel Skin Realty and Parham Family Charitable Fund.


“A beautiful day! So many people helping. This is incredible,” French said.


And you can volunteer too! They meet every Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. sharp!



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