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Hudson Valley Press

November 21st, 2012

Beacon students help out AKA Sorority, Inc.’s Project H.E.A.R.T.

National Honor Society students from Beacon High School recently joined the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Iota Alpha Omega Chapter for their 3rd annual Project H.O.P.E. - Operation H.E.A.R.T. event.

FISHKILL - On November 16th and 17th, 2012, the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Iota Alpha Omega Chapter (graduate chapter), in conjunction with the National Honor Society Chapter at Beacon High School, participated in their 3rd Annual Project H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Excel) - Operation H.E.A.R.T. (Helping to Empower Area Residents Together). Project H.O.P.E. was a day in which AKA Sorority, Inc. gave H.O.P.E. to the communities they serve by addressing hunger in those areas.

Through Project H.O.P.E., the groups Helped Other People Excel by replenishing thirteen area food pantries with over three hundred and fifty non-perishable food items each. The following food pantries were recipients of the donated food items: Dutchess Outreach, Incorporated (Poughkeepsie), Dutchess County Community Action Partnership Center (Beacon and Poughkeepsie locations), House of Refuge International Ministries (Newburgh), Solid Rock Church of God (New Windsor), Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church (Beacon), Full Gospel Center (LaGrangeville), Trinity United Methodist Church (LaGrangeville), St. George’s Episcopal Church (Beacon), St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (Middletown), First United Methodist Church (Newburgh), the Beacon Lions Club (Wappingers Falls) and Beulah Baptist Church (Poughkeepsie).

Through the efforts of their numerous food collection sponsors (Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Beacon High School, Downstate Correctional Facility, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Fishkill Correctional Facility, Greenhaven Correctional Facility, Iota Alpha Omega Chapter members, J.V. Forrestal Elementary School, Newburgh Free Academy ROTC, Rombout Middle School, Shawangunk Correctional Facility, Taconic Correctional Facility, Debro Chapter #10A- Order of the Eastern Stars, Collection Bureau of the Hudson Valley and Wappingers Falls Middle School (Civility Counts)), AKA Sorority, Inc. collected over 4,900 non perishable food items between September 24 - November 15, 2012. And, through the generosity of Fishkill Farms, over 2,400 lbs. of apples were donated, as were over 100 bags of hamburger and hot dog buns.

Over two days, 75-plus volunteers from Arlington High School, Roy C. Ketchum High School, Union Vail Middle School, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and numerous individuals poured into Downstate Correctional Facility’s QWL Building to assist with sorting food, and packing boxes.

On Friday, November 16, 2012, the food collection sponsors delivered their collected food items. Volunteers sorted all of the food items and prepared boxes, securing them with packaging tape, all donated by Guardian Self Storage, All Space and McCollister’s United Van Lines, to be packed with food.

On November 17, 2012, at 9 a.m., volunteers arrived and were greeted with breakfast donated by Panera’s Bread (Fishkill). Volunteers packed over 130 boxes, bagged over 1,500 bags of apples and boxed over 100 packages of bread for our food pantries, all donated by Fishkill Farms.

That afternoon, representatives from each pantry arrived at their designated time to pick up their food items. As representatives from each food pantry arrived with their banner, photos were taken with team members, who packed for that particular food pantry. The volunteers assisted representatives with loading the packed boxes into their vehicles for transportation.

In keeping the event "green", each food pantry also received twenty reusable shopping bags donated by Super Stop and Shops (Wappingers and Fishkill) and Walmart.

The week before Thanksgiving is a crucial week as many food banks are overwhelmed with providing food for those in need while still keeping their shelves stocked - especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A wonderful job was done by all of those who assisted the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated - Iota Alpha Omega Chapter with their day of H.O.P.E.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college trained women with a 104 year legacy of "Service to All Mankind". The Sorority’s programs are implemented by an international membership, divided into ten regions, of over 250,000 women. Iota Alpha Omega Chapter of the Mid-Hudson Valley (graduate chapter) has been a part of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s legacy of community service for over 40 years.

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