Serving the Greater Community

Nanci Odom, chair of the Community Outreach Committee, gives $2,575 check to Tom Newell, Executive Director of Denton Community Food Center.

One-third of the members of the Community Outreach Committee and Lisa Merino, volunteer coordinator of Our Daily Bread.

LaDonna Womochel

The Robson Ranch Women’s Club has always held fundraising events to support organizations in Denton County that provide care for the food insecure, the homeless, and the victims of domestic abuse. The track record for this club is very impressive.

The Community Outreach Committee of the Robson Ranch Women’s Club has taken on a more drilled-down approach to community service. The 97-member committee has devoted time and effort to serve the Denton Community in a hands-on style. For many of these women, writing a check to help others is not quite enough; they want to be more directly involved and committed. As a result, this committee has volunteers who work week-in and week-out at Our Daily Bread and Denton Community Food Center. Other members of this committee work on special projects when these community organizations identify issues that could use some extra hands.

In addition, the committee worked with the Denton County Friends of the Family. Some of the projects involve preparing backpacks filled with items necessary for starting school each fall for children who have experienced domestic abuse. Last year, the committee organized the drive at Robson Ranch and delivered 197 filled backpacks. The committee also sponsored an “Adopt a Family for the Holidays” program. Last holiday season, 58 children and 12 mothers received gifts purchased by committee members with a specific family in mind.

Two of the most recent projects have been incredibly successful. Committee members either asked that local restaurants donate gift cards, specialty foods, and alcohol for gift baskets to raffle off in the Robson community, or purchased those items themselves. Three food baskets and a basket created by two local artisans were raffled off. The effort generated $2,575 for the Denton Community Food Center, which serves the food insecure. Because the Food Center can purchase items from food banks and wholesalers, those dollars were used to acquire food that would normally cost $18,000.

The second project, which is on-going through the summer, is to help Our Daily Bread with a project of helping more than fifty homeless individuals to find employment and move into apartments. Grants have been received to help these individuals get started. Having an apartment is critical, but having the tools to make the apartment livable is also essential. The committee has organized efforts here at Robson Ranch to gather the essentials to establish a home—sheets, blankets, dishes, silverware, towels, brooms, mops, and the list goes on. The committee identified these as “welcome baskets,” but they have turned into “welcome pallets.” The committee has requested, received, and redistributed items to Our Daily Bread to help furnish these apartments. At this point, the committee has prepared over 20 welcome pallets.

This Community Outreach Committee is filling a need in both the outside community and in the hearts of the volunteers. There is always room for more committee members as we continue making “welcome pallets” and begin gearing up for the annual backpack drive in July.