Realtors kick off annual Charity Fundraiser
By JOHN M. DERBY
June 15, 2017
year, the Merced County Realtors Association contributes
thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations which help
care for the local needy.
Last year, that amounted to at total of $37,125.
Last week, the Realtors kicked off this year’s Charity
Fundraiser at the weekly meeting, and it looks like another
banner year. The Realtors have selected four very worthy
groups to give contributions to. They are: The Food Bank,
The Salvation Army, The Rescue Mission and the Boys and
One of the largest donations goes to the Food Bank which
supplies food at greatly reduced cost to over a dozen other
organizations which are directly in contact with the needy.
Bill Gibbs, the CEO of the Food Bank for Merced and Mariposa
Counties, was the guest speaker at last week’s meeting
and he was introduced by Stephanie Jackson, the chairman
of this year’s fundraising.
Gibbs is relatively new as the head of the local Food Bank
and he has already made several innovative changes in the
organization. He told the Realtors: “Twenty three
thousand people in our area don’t know where their
next meal is coming from.”
Coming from the northern part of Appalachia, Gibbs compared
the situation in Merced County to what is usually considered
the worse poverty of the United States. Of the two places,
“We are worst than Appalachia”
He said the Food Bank last year distributed 6.5 million
pounds of food. “I have never seen an organization
(The Food Bank) which can stretch a dollar as far as the
Food Bank,” said Gibbs.
Gibbs said $1 can provide four meals for the needy using
the Food Bank’s buying power.
This year the number one focus of the Food Bank is to see
that kids have enough to eat; however, the Food Bank is
involved in so many programs such as the Senior Brown Bag
program. This year, for the first time, they will begin
a Gleening program where they get fruits and vegetables
for free after the initial harvest.
There are over 3,500 volunteers working with the Food Bank
to make it possible. Gibbs said it would not be possible
to do the job without them.
After thanking Gibbs for being the guest speaker, Jackson
said this year there is already a commitment from Mike Salvadori
of Salvadori Realty to donate $10,000 when the members of
the Merced County Board of Realtors raise $30,000 for the
needy. The Realtors are already well on their way to doing
that and have over $6,000 in donations with more coming
Those wishing to join in the Charity Fundraising can call
Jackson at 209-383-6475, or Joe Stefani at 383-3733.