Villa Manor residents donate to Project PIN

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Tue., Apr. 5, 2011
Resident council members (l to r) Barbara Slater, Lil Maynard, Alta Merchant, Arlene Pendleton, Robert Heibel. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Resident council members (l to r) Barbara Slater, Lil Maynard, Alta Merchant, Arlene Pendleton, Robert Heibel. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Pastor Bill Hinckley pulled up to the Villa Manor Nursing Home in Plainfield on March 30 to pick up a mother lode of food. The residents had been raising money and collecting canned goods since February. That was when the resident council decided to do something to help out Project PIN. Established in 1971, Project PIN (People In Need) provides food for residents of Plainfield, Oneco and Sterling. Thirteen churches and their volunteers provide food for about 150 people a month, according to Pastor Bill. He sees no end in sight.

It’s getting worse,” he said. “Unemployment hasn’t gone down; people have run out of benefits, and they don’t show up in the statistics. People have been out of work for years. If it wasn’t for the generosity of so many people in the community, if it wasn’t for the volunteer efforts, PIN wouldn’t be successful.”

Barbara Slater was instrumental in getting the donations rolling in. Slater remembers going through hard times herself many years ago. When her father died and she moved in with her sister and her sister’s husband, they didn’t have much. At Thanksgiving, the firemen in town collected food for them.

It was the best Thanksgiving I ever had,” she said. “We didn’t expect it. You always give back what you get.”

Slater and four other members of the resident council were on hand to meet Pastor Bill when he arrived. Lil Maynard, Alta Merchant, Arlene Pendleton and Robert Heibel waited in the lobby near boxes that held 703 cans of food. The council's goal was 500 cans.

They also raffled off a quilted table runner. Two nurses put together a gardening basket, which they raffled off. A daughter of one of the nurses brought in profits from selling pocketbooks. Resident council members sat in the lobby and asked people for donations or to buy raffle tickets as they came in and out. Everyone got involved, and they raised an additional $420.

Council member Arlene Pendleton said, “You feel bad enough for the parents, but I couldn’t stand to think about children going to bed hungry.”

Pastor Bill from Shield of Faith ministries and Linda Schiller of the Sterling Church of Christ collected the food. Project Pin is in partnership with the Connecticut Food Bank. The CFB augments what they collect from the community. Sometimes CFB will supply hamburger, turkeys and produce. Out of 240 turkeys given out this past Thanksgiving, 100 were from the CFB. Recently Project PIN purchased 400 pounds of food from them for $60.

Project Pin hasn’t run out of food yet. “We’ve gotten down to two loaves and three fishes,” Pastor Bill said. The donations always come in from somewhere. For more information call 860-779-2645.

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