Given the ongoing pandemic, the 58th Annual Meeting of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) was held by "Zoom call" recently on January 15th. A week later, on January 22, its usual "fourth Friday in January" Annual Meeting date, instead of the meal shared among its supporters, the PACF provided meals for staff and clients of local agencies working to aid persons recovering from substance use disorders, serving children in emergency and foster care, and responding to the public's health needs.

Children residing at the Children's Home Society's Gustke Shelter, and shelter staff, enjoyed a meal catered by DaVinci's, along with hot chocolate and sweets served by The Bodega. More than 90 residents and staff associated with Recovery Point enjoyed food supplied by Rubi's Pizza and Grill. Staff and volunteers of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, working diligently to immunize the public, received boxed sandwich lunches from Honey Baked Ham. Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home staff and residents are set to receive a meal soon featuring barbecue from a local catering business. In all, more than 175 persons received a meal using the local vendors of their choice.

Allison Conley, Recovery Point WV, said, "We can't express the gratitude we have for the kindness that you've shown our clients through a simple meal. This meant so much to them! Rubi's was fantastic to work with and they've definitely gained some loyal customers through this experience."

Denise Hughes of the Children's Home Society staff shared that, "The dinner was a resounding success! The residents were thrilled with such a feast and we had many who had never had DaVinci's before, so they were especially pleased. This really was a treat for them, and everyone expressed their gratitude at being thought of. Earlier in the day, the Bodega brought their ‘Hot Chocolate Bar on Wheels' to the parking lot to allow staff and residents a mid-day treat. Residents were very surprised when they looked out the window to see it pull up and then to realize they could go out to get some sweet goodness. I can't tell you how this kind gesture from you all helped to brighten up the week. As you can imagine there was great stress about going back to school and COVID--this was a nice respite from all the worry."

"The Foundation wanted to provide encouragement and to express its gratitude to these agencies and their clientele while also supporting local restaurants," said Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, PACF's Executive Director. "We appreciate the challenging nature of the work that these important organizations do every day, and which is made even more so, during a pandemic. We were glad to hear that it brightened their day and pleased to support local enterprises."