To give of one’s time and talent for a good cause has always been a pastime near and dear to the heart of Paula Klein of Tomkins Cove. Ever since she was a young girl she has gone above and beyond to lend a helping hand to others. Some of her early memories are shoveling elderly neighbor’s walk-ways on snowy days with her siblings and she credits her father, a volunteer fire-fighter and police officer for setting an example for her to aspire to.
When Paula became a mother she was committed to being involved in her daughter’s school life. She joined the PTA, SIPTA (school improvement planning team) and became a Girl Scout leader. With her involvement in scouting she was able to delve into a variety of volunteering opportunities. One of which was collecting food for the North Rockland food pantry located at the Stony Point Trinity Methodist Church in 1997. Paula began volunteering there on a regular basis and became involved in all aspects of running the food pantry, from placing food orders, to adding more hours of operation. She was invested in helping in every way she could to better serve her community. In 2005 she was formally asked to run the North Rockland and she happily agreed. She has been handling the grant writing, food purchases, and coordinating with volunteers ever since. Paula is a founding member of Rockland Community Against Hunger (RCAH) which is a coalition of food pantries and feeding programs in Rockland. The RCAH organizes two food drives each year. The upcoming fall event “Scare Away Hunger” will take place October 15th and 16th this year and has been a huge success for the past 3 years. Each year they coordinate with local supermarkets to host different pantries throughout the county to collect food, cash donations and are assisted by the Girl Scouts of Rockland, volunteer students and adults as well. RCAH’s goal is to bring 70,000 lbs. of recovered food into the hands of numerous pantries who are dedicated to the cause of feeding all of Rockland’s hungry neighbors.
Aside from Paula’s extensive stewardship at the North Rockland Food Pantry and RCAH she has been coordinating the Great American Clean-up for Stony Point for Keep Rockland Beautiful for the past 10 years. This has been the largest cleanup countywide for the past 5 years with over 250 volunteers. She has participated in the Komen walk and held a fundraiser alongside several friends and raised over $14,000 one year for Susan G. Komen. She has volunteered at the Mud Run to raise money for breast cancer. Paula has even participated in a half marathon in Nashville, TN and raised over $9,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Paula works as a manager for TOUCH.ORG a food pantry located in Congers that is the top food recovery agency in the county where she manages the Rockland and Orange county offices. The agency serves a unique population of chronically ill members and has delivered food as far as Port Jervis, NY. Paula is extremely grateful for the individuals willing to volunteer their time and resources. She is an exemplary Rockland resident who truly believes in the idea of paying it forward!
Visit www.regionalfoodbank.net and use their agency #793FP
Visit the North Rockland Food Pantry Facebook page at facebook.com/nrfoodpantry or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org the pantry phone number is 845.499.6060 another way to help is visit www.rocklandhunger.org