It takes the work of more than 100 volunteers to serve more than 1200 families every year at BACN. We wanted to dedicate this page to share how BACN has touched the lives of its neighbors.
Neighbors Share Their Hopes for the Future
My hopes are; Michigan got more jobs for everybody. I want to be healthy and happy. I want peace and people to be able to get a better future: food, jobs, education and not be worrying all the time for not having enough money to pay for neccessities! Thank you BACN for all you are doing. I appreciate it all. Without BACN I don't know how I would be doing. You help me a lot.... Thank you!!!
Well, I'm currently living with some friends. I'm trying to get back my SSI, food stamps and Medicaid. With no money to buy things; this is really, really hard. Thank goodness for food pantries. For my future outlook I hope to be back on my own feet and my boyfriend and I to be in our own places and I have my income and insurance back. I would like to Thank all the good folks here at BACN because without the volunteers help, I would not be able to get the help I need.
BACN surely is a lot of help! Thank you sooooooo much for all that you do
I am thankful for ALL the help you have given our family today in the past.
Without BACN and its Volunteers I would feel like everything was a hopeless dead end. Thank you for giving me hope and restoring my faith.
If it wasn't for BACN, we'd have to go hungry sometimes. I came today for food, clothing and housewares. There are three in my family. My husband's hours at work were recently cut back to 20 hours per week and I'm on a fixed income (disability); so the help offered by BACN and its Volunteers is a blessing!
I am new to the community
I have found BACN to be a vital assistance program that complements other services offered in the area and it is unique and helps where others no long can. Thank God for BACN, it make Benzie County livable! Thank you. ~ A new Neighbor
My Summers at BACN
When I was only 9 years old I started to come up to my grandma’s house to visit for a week or so. She had just started volunteering at BACN so I went with her. So after we got there I met this wonderful lady named Donna, she’s in charge of the pantry. My grandma usually works in the offices in the front and gets people situated. When I get in the pantry before doors open I usually help Donna with bagging things or stocking shelves. But when the doors open, I’m a check-out person and that means that I help people get their food and figure out how much they are spending. At BACN we usually try to price the pantry items close to the ones in a real store but cheaper. If you don’t want food, we also have a clothing area. That means you can get clothes, shoes, books, and toys for your little ones.
I enjoy coming up to my grandparent’s house during summer vacation not only to spend time with them but to also volunteer at BACN. All the volunteers are friendly and they welcome me back and I feel like part of the staff. When you get started you make new friends and you start to feel good that you have helped some people that are in need of your help. I feel that young kids like me should come and work at a place like this. If you would like to volunteer at someplace like this, I would look in your local newspaper to see if there is any need for volunteering. When the people that want your help come in, they are so nice to you that is another example why it also makes me feel like a part of the staff. Another reason that I like to work at BACN is because it’s not a waste of my time. Instead of just sitting on the couch at my grandma’s house, I’m volunteering for the people that need my help. From 10:00am to 2:00pm, I’m helping the people that need my help. This is my third year working at BACN and I never, EVER, get tired of it. ~ Brooke
(editor’s note: Brooke will be entering the 6th grade this fall. All Food and Clothing is distributed free of charge.)
Volunteer and Donor
BACN volunteer Baylee, 13 years old attending Benzie Central Middle School, posing with mom Shiela in the BACN clothing department. Baylee loves horseback riding and enjoys helping others. “I feel great when I can organize my room and find things that I can donate.” For more information about Summer volunteer opportunities contact: Michelle Northrup at 882-9544 (ext. 228)
Volunteer Deb has this to share about her experience with BACN:
“When I retired to Benzie County two years ago I wanted to become involved in the life of my new community. Shortly after finding a church, I heard about the great need in Benzie County and an organization called BACN. The day I completed an application to volunteer was the day BACN's philosophy was presented to me in a single statement. Kay Bond simply stated, "These are our neighbors." I was hooked.
That first day I witnessed a young woman hugging her crying grandmother who kept saying, "I can't beg for food!" Soon there were other examples: a family in foreclosure, fire survivors, folks unable to work due to handicapping conditions. I've visited with single mothers, fathers who have served prison time, recovering alcoholics, migrant farmers.
Every person has received compassionate, insightful care tailored to his or her specific situation. BACN truly attempts to enable our neighbors to become self-sufficient. The looks of relief, the tentative smiles, the hugs and "thank you's" make the four-hour shift on my feet (Sit down? Too much to do!) well worth my contribution of time. It's the hardest job you'll ever love."
A Belt for my Wife:
A gentleman came in and asked if we could help him pick out a belt for his wife who wore a certain size pants. We showed him our belt selection and pulled off a few that we thought might work for him. We were asking questions, such as, "What about this color or width?"
After looking at a few, I told him to take a couple home that he thought she would like, so she could try them on. "Just bring back the ones she didn't want or pass them on to someone else. He said surprised, "I can take a few?" He selected two belts and thanked us several times for our help.
Michelle, Volunteer Coordinator
“My husband and I have always appreciated the help that you have been able to give us when times were rough. Now that we are starting to do better I would like to reciprocate the help. Please accept this donation of $10 to help others in need as you helped us. We have included you in our monthly budget, so hopefully I will be able to send you ten or more every month. God bless you and your organization and thank you again for all the wonderful and helpful things you do for the community.”
A Few More Words from BACN Neighbors:
“What would Benzie do without you?”
“May God bless BACN always. Thanks so much for all the help and allowing me to give back by volunteering.”
“BACN is a wonderful organization that has helped my family so much now that things are tough for us. Someday I hope to repay you.”
“What would we do without this great organization? It’s a fun place to volunteer and I love you all very much.”
“Thank God for Christian Neighbors.”