TCC Southeast Pantry does indeed have plenty of candy.

It is not widely known that Arlington Charities partners with Tarrant County College Southeast Campus to operate a satellite food pantry for food insecure college students. After hearing horror stories of kids not eating for 48 hours or coming into the nurse’s office with abdominal pains, TCC president Bill Coppola decided to use funds from several mini grants to combat the problem. The TCC Southeast pantry has since seen very good response with more students coming through than were originally expected. Many time crunched students who didn’t have the time to eat, simply needed a snack. Others who were struggling financially or were supporting children and family really benefited from supplemental meals. Students quickly began gushing about a “weight being lifted” and how good it felt to “have food they could count on.”

Head of the pantry, Sharon, sorting some canned food.

Volunteers at the Southeast Pantry stem from a variety of places. Many are students who work around their hectic class schedule to volunteer in their free time while others are faculty and staff who are all too eager to help. Despite the variety of responsibilities these volunteers already juggle, they treat their volunteer work like it is a real job. Every other week Arlington Charities delivers a truck full of food which is diligently sorted. Volunteers in the Hospitality and Management program devised a systematic storage system known as a “work circle.” Head of the panty, Sharon Wettengel, says that it is beneficial to have volunteers from different programs whose expertise helps the pantry operate even more efficiently.

Volunteer, Christina, helping a student find a snack.

There are many students with different stories who come to the pantry for help. For Sharon, the most powerful memory she has was of a student who came in looking extremely nervous and uncomfortable. She gave him a warm welcome and he returned it with a “I’m so sorry, I’ve never done this before.” Eventually he was coming in every day to get a snack and would get supplemental meals every week. He was a single dad with a baby.

Food insecurity on college campuses is a very silent problem with not a lot of attention or advocates, yet it affects a large portion of the college population. Arlington Charities is very privileged to be able to be making a noticeable difference with Tarrant County College. If you are a volunteer and would like to be featured on “Meet a Volunteer Monday,” please send us a message. Alternatively if you are inspired by Tarrant County College and would like to volunteer yourself, you can sign up at

Volunteer, Stephanie, sorting some peanut butter.

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Cathy repping her awesome Arlington Charities shirt. Shirts available at

Cathy Erakovich is a retired nurse who started volunteering at Arlington Charities in 2009. Her philosophy is that volunteering is “doing God’s work with our hands.” She gets a spiritual satisfaction from working with the clients and hearing them express their gratitude. Arlington Charities wasn’t always all roses for Cathy though. She reminisced about how when she first started volunteering, an older volunteer would become very stern and persnickety about how things needed to be done. Cathy later discovered that the volunteer was just trying to ensure that everyone was doing their work correctly and became fast friends with her. She went on to describe the volunteer as “one of the kindest and most blessed people” she knows. As the years have passed, Cathy has been with Arlington Charities through a variety of changes. Arlington Charities recent focus on client choice, new trucks and freezers, and expanded reach to new demographics, make Cathy swell with pride.

When not volunteering, Cathy loves to read, quilt, walk, and garden. Keeping busy every day is a must for Cathy and volunteering fits neatly into that mantra. To all aspiring volunteers Cathy wholeheartedly asserts that “volunteering at Arlington Charities makes you see the results of your work on both the days you are here and the days you are not.” All volunteers make a significant impact on Arlington Charities and we are very grateful to have volunteers like Cathy.

If you are a volunteer and would like to be featured on “Meet a Volunteer Monday,” please send us a message. Alternatively if you are inspired by Terry’s story and would like to volunteer yourself, you can sign up at

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Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Terry's favorite volunteer activity is meticulously sorting clothing donations.

Terry Nuhn is a volunteer who has been with Arlington Charities through many changes. Terry, her husband, and two kids have been volunteering with AC around the holidays for at least twenty years. She reminisced about how volunteers used to have to bag food outside in the cold for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the annual Postal Workers Drive. Many of the large-scale annual holiday distributions used to happen outside in the parking lot and Terry is thankful that they have since moved inside. Terry has been keeping her volunteering indoors for about 1.5 years and has become one of our most consistent volunteers, stopping by to help almost every day. Her favorite volunteer activity is organizing donations of clothes, she can often be seen meticulously sorting and hanging clothing items. Terry is so adept with the clothing donations that she can often tell you what kind of clothes that we need more of or find something in a client’s size in a heartbeat.

The little moments are what makes volunteering a joy for Terry. “Every week a client touches your heart,” she asserts purposefully. Terry reminisced about a recent encounter with a woman who just got out of surgery. Arlington Charities was able to provide the woman with a new hat and scarf, a gift that practically reduced her to tears of gratitude.

Terry would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering at Arlington Charities to others. In lieu of Terry’s photograph, this picture of the clothing section more than represents the hard work that she puts in.

If you are a volunteer and would like to be featured on “Meet a Volunteer Monday,” please send us a message. Alternatively if you are inspired by Terry’s story and would like to volunteer yourself, you can sign up at

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