Newsletter, February 2021

How’s your vision?  At the start of 2020, so much was said about “20/20 Vision” – having the vision to see ahead, to picture the future, to successfully lead through another year.  Looking back, who could have possibly foreseen the events we witnessed last year? 

At this time 12 months ago, Gleaning was moving into all-hands on deck mode – a year that began with changes, adjustments and modifications.  Despite the unpredictable circumstances, we did what was required to stay true to our core mission:

To share the love of God at home and around the world through the efficient delivery of high-quality lifesaving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical needs.

During the early weeks of the pandemic, the availability of corporate product donations changed significantly.  Supply chain disruptions and our normal product donations through long-established partnerships were dramatically reduced or placed on hold indefinitely. 

Yet, as this huge challenge emerged, God provided a new avenue!  Brand new opportunities materialized – allowed Gleaning to continue to have a strong presence in delivering humanitarian aid at such a critical time.

Through our local, national and international network of partners, we were able to distribute:

  • Millions of masks and other critical pieces of protective equipment to hospitals, nursing homes and first responders across multiple states and countries.
  • Thousands of toys and books to children struggling with “stay at home” impact.
  • A single-year record-breaking 48,233 stuffed animals.
  • More than 50 tractor trailer loads of food.
  • Nearly 20 tractor trailer loads of disaster relief supplies during one of the most active hurricane seasons on record.
  • International humanitarian aid valued at over $10,000,000 to partners in 13 countries. 
  • Hundreds of sustainable feminine hygiene kits – sewn and assembled to reach school age girls through new partners in Tanzania and the Fiji Islands.

 

 In all, more than $16,000,000 in humanitarian aid relief supplies were distributed in 2020.  May God receive all the glory!

For me personally, it was a year like none other; I’m glad it’s over.  Maybe you are like me – you don’t always “see” with perfect clarity exactly what’s unfolding when you are going thru a trial. Perhaps you’re too busy just trying to get through it.  Yet, by taking time to reflect, by using hindsight, valuable lessons can be revealed — allowing us to grow in important new ways.  It takes time to reflect on what’s happened. And, of course, a willingness.

By far, the biggest lesson for me?  I had to learn to lean fully on God. And to trust Him. While I prayed for His help every single day, I couldn’t see, with absolute clarity everything that would impact the work at Gleaning.  But looking back at 2020, taking time to reflect and allowing Him to show me the year “in review,” I now see that everything unfolded just as it should. I’m amazed and in awe.

Your commitment to Gleaning was significant and kept our doors open and our team operational.  We could not have accomplished all that we did without our faithful partners.

Our staff prays daily – for our donors, our volunteers, our receiving partners and the individuals, families and communities that desperately need our help. We know we need God to lead, guide and direct us.

So, what challenges will 2021 present to us? In a world that’s in chaos, turmoil and confusion, our vision is clear and remains constant:  To share the love of God at home and around the world through the efficient delivery of high-quality, lifesaving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical need.

 We are passionate about our work – our mission – and we know you are too.  And with your support, together, we can continue to help the least among us.

Your financial gifts are critical to our work. I hope to hear from you this month.

In service and partnership,

Jeane Smiley-Mason

President & COO

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Gleaning For The World, Inc., is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible under this status.