Sometimes, all it takes is one person or one group of people with initiative to make a big difference. Such is the case with Mike Howard and his pickleball group. For a while now, this group has been bringing non-perishable food items to their games to be donated to the Golden Harvest Food Bank. This past November, they upped their game by promoting a canned food drive throughout the entire pickleball community. Volunteers picked up donations at the Smith Hazel, Odell Weeks, and Gregg Park recreation areas. By the end of the food drive, a whopping 369 pounds of food were donated to Golden Harvest by the pickleball community.
But it doesn’t end there. The same small group of people held a raffle to raise money for Golden Harvest, which advertises that for every $1 raised they can provide three meals. For several weeks in December, this group sold raffle tickets, culminating their efforts on December 18 at the Dink for Tots event held at the Virginia Acres Park pickleball courts. By the end of the day, they had raised $1,005, which translates to 3,015 meals at a time when demand for food resources is at a high because of inflation and supply chain issues.
The initiative of just a few people along with the generosity of the entire pickleball community has made an incredible impact to the Aiken area: 369 pounds of food and an additional 3,015 meals. That’s cause for celebration. That’s Pickleball with a Purpose.
Ed Chavis of Golden Harvest, Beth Eberhard, and Mike Howard with the donated food items and representative check.