September was a busy month! Schools across the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area were officially back in session. However, this wasn’t the typical exciting back to school time. Things have changed greatly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Many if not all students are learning virtually but one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for school supplies.
Grace Rivera-Oven created the Upcounty Consolidation Hub, a nonprofit food bank that provides school supplies, food boxes, and COVID-19 kits for those in need throughout Montgomery County. The need began during the start of the pandemic as she began serving 800 families each week. However, that number grew due to the number of people that needed help. The trailer park that Rivera-Oven began serving families out of started to become too small to accommodate all her supplies and the families that we coming to her. It was then that she asked her friend Lynn Arndt, CEO of the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Gaithersburg, Maryland is she could use some of their space. The two have come together to create a magical hub for people to bring donations and volunteers to help pack the boxes and care packages.
The Pay It Forward team along with Easterns Automotive Group saw the hard work that they were putting in and decided to step in to help. The team set it up and the camera crew went to visit the Upcounty Consolidation Hub at BlackRock Center for the Arts. Holly Morris of Good Day DC on Fox 5 joined the two women via satellite to provide a platform for the women to discuss their incredible work in the community. It was then that Joel Bassam of Easterns appeared on the screen to surprise them with a $1,500 donation to continue their work in Montgomery County. There are plenty of ways to get involved and support this incredible nonprofit food bank. Please click here to learn more about Upcounty Consolidation Hub – there are options to donate, volunteer, and be a partner of the organization.
If you know someone in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area that goes above and beyond the call and is worthy of being recognized, Click here to nominate them.
Watch the video to see the way everything unfolded.
YouTube Link – https://youtu.be/SDbJt7W-Vms