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Montebello Rotarians Participate in Heart of Compassion Food Distribution

Anne Donofrio-Holter

Members of the Montebello Rotary Club made a monetary contribution and participated in Heart of Compassion’s food distribution program this past Saturday at Chet Holifield Park.  The Rotarians, along with Heart of Compassion staff and other community volunteers helped off load trucks full of supplies, set up booths and fill the baskets and carts of the more than 2,000 people that came through.
Spearheaded by Pastor Eric Tietze, the monthly distribution program began in 1996 in Pico Rivera and to date has distributed millions of pounds of food and supplies at various locations in the local area.
Saturday’s line extended over a block and lasted several hours as the participants waited patiently to fill their carts with food and household items, school supplies, clothing, shoes and bags of dog and cat food for their pets.
Flyers were distributed at local schools and parks notifying the public of the distribution.
“You don’t need a ticket and no one is turned away,” said Tietze.  “Everyone is welcome here.”
Tietze, who visited the Montebello Rotary Club a few days before the event told members, “While we know we don’t have everything we need as of yet, come to the park on Saturday morning and see a miracle take place as the truckloads of supplies will arrive.”
And arrive, they did.
With audible “thank yous,” a smile or a nod, volunteers who gave up their Saturday morning could not help but came away with a sense of how much this was appreciated by those who patiently weaved their way past each booth.
“This is such a blessing,” said one participant.  “My husband recently lost his job.”
“This event exemplifies Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self,'” said club president Ted Jones.  “Following our discussions with Pastor Eric, we knew we had to be here today and help Heart of Compassion with this great cause.”
“Before seeing the number of people in line today, I never realized the need was so great in Montebello,” said one volunteer.  “Some of us tend to forget how truly blessed we are.”
“The Lord said, ‘I didn’t come to be served, but to serve,'” said Tietze.  “The Rotary Club exemplifies this and their support, along with all the volunteers here today, has been a great encouragement to us.”