Peggy Uribe has been volunteering and giving to Arlington Charities for 22 years. As one of our longest standing volunteers and donors Peggy has seen the changes firsthand that giving can create. For example our “client choice pantry,” which allows clients to shop for their own food, used to be pre-packaged bags. Our senior program, which transports mobility impaired seniors to shop and socialize at our pantry via a partnership with handi-tran, used to be a delivery service with pre-packaged meals.

​Peggy is a constant advocate for A.C. and would definitely encourage others to give. Whenever friends have items they no longer need, Peggy always encourages them to donate them to Arlington Charities. Whether it is a acquaintance that is moving and has a surplus of sheets and comforters or an American Airlines flight attendant who has way too many airline lotions, Peggy believes there is always someone who could use these items.

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A man and his truck

Every single weekday, Arlington Charities receives shipments of food from our dedicated community partners. On Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s one of those partners is Sam’s Club. Arlington Charities has been picking up donations from Sam’s Club for about a year now. On Wednesday, June 26th, I tagged along with our Warehouse Manager, Duane, on his Sam’s pickup.


Boxed donations at Sam's Club

Wednesdays start at 7:00 AM when Duane picks up donations from Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB). The two pantries have agreed to conduct the pickup at Azleway Children’s Services because it has a large dock and forklift, making loading much easier. TAFB’s batch then gets unloaded and is used to stock the pantry shelves back at Arlington Charities.


Preparing to load the pallets

After stocking the shelves for the day, Duane goes to Sam’s club around 9:00 and Costco around 10:00 for additional donations. Food from Costco and Sam’s Club gets loaded into our cooler. Any fresh produce or perishables go to the pantry to be given away that day. Meats that have been frozen already also have to go that day. Sometimes, we get wraps and deli items which our administrative assistant uses for homeless lunches.


Pushing the food pallets into the truck

Tim and Heather manage the warehouse at Sam’s Club and often help Duane with the pickups. Types and amounts of donations vary from pick up to pick up, but Duane generally expect lots of produce, bakery items, deli meats, bottled waters, and chips. The Sam’s warehouse has a large loading dock that can be used to load up the Arlington Charities truck with towering pallets of food.


Unloading donations from the truck.

Pickups can be very eventful as Duane has built up a rapport with each of our partners and likes to crack jokes. However, the most memorable pickup Duane had is when he got stuck on a slope in an apartment parking lot after attempting to use it to turn the truck around. With the back wheels just three inches off the ground, Duane tried to shove rocks and pieces of board underneath the tires to give them something to catch on to. The escapade ended around three hours later with a heavy-duty tow truck.


Sorting the sweet potatoes

The journey to Sam’s Club ended back at Arlington Charities where Duane and a group of strapping volunteers worked on unloading the truck. Each box of food needed to be weighed to keep track of the amount of food donated for our annual report. Finally, boxes were sorted onto dollies by where they needed to go and carted off to their respective spots.


Weighing the donations

Arlington Charities relies on the generous donations from community partners like Sam’s Club in order to keep our pantry well stocked for our clients every day. However, some attention should also be given to those who make the pick-up and unload these deliveries. It takes a community to provide help and create hope. We are lucky to have partners like Sam’s Club, staff like Duane, and hardworking volunteers in ours.

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Karin Crerar has been actively volunteering with Arlington Charities for two years. She likes to stay active not just as a volunteer but in her personal life as well. Along with volunteering at Arlington Charities, Karin likes to stay in shape by going to the gym and pilates studio at least twice a week. She enjoys the release and clarity that physical activity can bring. To round off her active lifestyle, Karin also enjoys doing yardwork and helping families at the Salvation Army with her church.


While volunteering snugly fits Karin’s active lifestyle, the people she meets are actually her favorite part of volunteering. Whether it be the clients that stop in for extra help or the other volunteers, Karin enjoys having the ability to make connections. Karin grew up in Nigeria and does not often run into people of Nigerian descent in the U.S. She was surprised that Arlington Charities has several Nigerian clients and quickly made close friends with them. Karin has also made good friends with a group of volunteers who also share an active lifestyle, the sisters from the Jesus Christ Church of the Latter Day Saints.


Karin enjoys volunteering at Arlington Charities and actively tries to recruit others in her community to volunteer whenever she can. Her strong work ethic and friendly personality make her a joy to be around. Arlington Charities is lucky to have volunteers like Karin.


If you are a volunteer and would like to be featured on “Meet a Volunteer Monday,” please send us a message or talk to Chris near the reception area. Alternatively if you are inspired by Karin’s story and would like to volunteer yourself, you can sign up at https://www.arlingtoncharities.org/volunteer.

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