– A Message from Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr, ACO CEO –

What do you do? A family is in their car, in the line waiting for their groceries to be loaded at the ACO Food Pantry. As our staff member is leaning into the car window (wearing a mask, but the driver is not) to get her information, she tells him that she is positive for COVID-19. She says that they didn’t have food so she had to come. You watch as your dedicated team load the groceries into her car anyway.

What do you do? There are hundreds of families reaching out for assistance each week and our Client Services Team is frantically working through each file to offer whatever support we have available. Every call is an emergency, every submitted application needs to be reviewed immediately. Some people are frustrated, upset, angry, or rude. The staff have been at it for months. There is no end in sight. How do you support them, say “thank you for caring for these families,” and assure them that they are strong and will get through these difficult times? You just show that you support them.

What do you do to take care of a community in limbo with their employment, their children’s school year, worried about paying their bills, having food on the table and constantly questioning the safety of their family?

What do WE do at ACO? We take a deep breath, and let is out slowly. We smile and try to show confidence and assurance. We lead, we support and we care. We show appreciation for the volunteers that come to help. We say a huge thank you to every donor who provides financial support, donations of food, school supplies and backpacks, household products and more. We know that without our community having our backs, and the compassion and care that you provide to us, we could not get through each day.

The ACO Staff is like the public safety officers, the medical workers, the teachers and administrators in the school districts, the faith community, and the strong families willing to share what they have and care for each other. We believe in Collin County and joining hands with each other- even at a safe distance.

We are continuing to ask you this summer to GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE. It’s certainly a summer like no other. The need is still here, and bigger than ever before. ACO’s annual giving campaign is vital to our ongoing operations so I ask you to do this- give to ACO. Simply support us. Please. All of the information to do so is on our website, www.acocares.org.

Please accept my very sincerest thanks to everyone who continues to support our mission and lift up our agency. Thank you to those who are able to volunteer with us, even on our current limited schedule. Thank you for reaching out to call or email and simply ask what we need. Your neighborhood food drives and business promotions to benefit ACO are making such an impact. Your gifts of lunch for the staff, notes of appreciation, positive posts on social media- ALL ARE SO APPRECIATED! Please keep it up.

Please stay safe and be considerate and kind to others as we all struggle through these difficult times.

Many thanks,

One more thing….As a staff, we are still being extremely safe in all of our operations.We are doing our best to protect ourselves, our clients, and our volunteers from illness. Masks are not an option at our facilities when working in a group and must be worn, employees and volunteers temps are taken each day, and sanitizers are at every entrance. Please help us stay safe and well, and support our efforts when working or visiting ACO.

Whether it is virtual or in-person, it’s time to start our “Fill the Bus” school supplies drive. School may look different for many Allen ISD students, but no matter what, there is a need for school supplies.

Click here to find a bus
near you!

Shop our Amazon link to donate supplies virtually.

Meet MOLLY, ACO’s new Food Pantry Refrigerated Truck! Honk when you see, MOLLY, our new food pantry refrigerated truck, when she is out picking up food donations or on a mobile food pantry visit. Thanks to generous grants, we were able to purchase a much-needed new truck. We have also been awarded grants for a new van that we hope to purchase soon.Signage, gas, maintenance are all ongoing costs and you can help support our hunger efforts and display your support by adding your logo to the back of our vehicles for a small donation.

Interested? Contact Rhonda Ptak, ACO Chief Community Development Officer, for details, rptak@acocares.org.

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