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The Help Center’s Youngest Benefactor

Jan Truelove delivers Patrick's peanut butter to Anne Hope Marvin, The Help Center's Food Pantry Chair."


Staff Writer

Last year when my grand-nephew Patrick was about to turn 4, his mother Megan told her Aunt Jan (me) that in lieu of gifts, Patrick was going to ask the guests at his birthday party to bring peanut butter.  The jars collected were divided between a local food pantry (in Cary) and the Help Center.  Patrick  and his family enjoy visiting Aunt Jan and Uncle Joe in Kure Beach, and like to attend the Annual Chinese Auction to benefit the Help Center.   When Anne Hope Marvin, Help Center Pantry Chair, sent Patrick a thank you note (geared to his level)for the peanut butter, he nodded knowingly to his Mom as she read it to him and said “The hungry people have peanut butter.”  This year, for his 5th birthday, Patrick again chose peanut butter over gifts, and collected 25 jars for the Help Center, enough to last a few days. I submit this story hoping that other parents and grandparents might encourage their little ones to learn early to help those less fortunate.  Patrick is a lucky little guy, with a large loving family and plenty of playthings (including two little brothers!)  What’s important to him at a birthday celebration is running and playing with his friends and cousins, ice cream and cake and the singing of “Happy Birthday” as he blows out the candles. He even puts up with numerous hugs and kisses from the older family members!  He didn’t need or miss a dozen new toys, and now he connects his birthday with helping “hungry people” too. 
If you’d like to join “Patrick’s Peanut Butter Revolution,” just have your child select any nonperishable item that he or she particularly enjoys eating (e.g., cereal, canned fruit, macaroni & cheese, Spaghettios, etc.) and spread the word.  You’ll be planting the seeds of generosity and kindness to others in a new generation, and that is a gift that will keep on giving throughout their lives, wherever they go.  The Help Center food pantry is located in the Carolina Beach Recreation Center, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM until noon.  This year’s Chinese Auction fundraiser will be held Saturday July 21st at 1 PM the Katie B. Hines Senior Center.