it takes a village
mattie n. dixon community cupboard
Mattie N. Dixon Cupboard Wish list
- Collapsible wagons
- Reusable bags
- Empty egg cartons
- Gift cards/Holiday gift cards for families
I will start my pledge by selling apparel and accessories with a community slogan where I will donate $2 and proceeds will go to Ms. Mattie N. Dixon.
Let me know what your pledge will be.
I started working from home last year, and the line of work I do reminds me of when I was a caseworker many years ago. Working at this job sparked a desire in me to do something for my community as it also reminded me, as a struggling single mom, of how difficult it was at times and how thankful I was when I needed to supplement food for my children. I had a community cupboard near me that I would go to when things got tight. I was not ashamed I had to do what I needed to feed my children. I decided to work in a field where I could help families. That is when I started working for a not-for-profit organization in Norristown called CADCOM and worked as a Bilingual Family Development Coordinator.
That is where I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Mattie N. Dixon. She was the Director and founder of Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard in Ambler, PA. Ms. Mattie was an inspiration. She was full of energy and had a tenacity that you could not say no to. Ms. Mattie started serving people in her community in her basement in 1973, and from there, her passion for helping others grew into the facility it is currently in. She passed away on April 6th, 2017, at 93, but her spirit and passion still live.
Funny story, I happened to meet the current Director of Miss Mattie’s Cupboard at a friend’s house, but when we met, she did not say where she worked. One day she called our mutual friend to tell her that she had found this letter in her office addressed to Ms. Mattie, signed by Carmen Cruz. Cindy was unsure if it was me, so she took a picture of the letter and sent it to our mutual friend Megan, where Megan then sent the picture to me, asking me if I had written the letter. I could not believe that Ms. Mattie kept the letter around all this time and that Cindy, now the current Director of the Cupboard, was working there. It was a sign from Ms. Mattie that she wanted me to do something.
With everything happening in our world, communities around us need to get together and find a way to help one another when needed. We need to lift each other up when we are down and encourage one another because it is the human thing to do. I went to visit the cupboard just recently, and it brought me so much joy to see how far it has grown. Cindy Wedholm is now the new Executive Director
For two and a half years and now the cupboard has a Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Abramson, who has been at the cupboard for a year; Leslie Perlmutter, the Administrator Assistant for the last 2yrs; Marc Trueheart-Roberts, Pantry Manager for a year. I was happy to hear that she also has a Case Manager, Mandi Johnson, who helps families and individuals with resume-building financial assistance and advocates for social services processes. It was such a pleasure to meet all these unique humans!
The cupboard also facilitates the After School Program Rising Stars Homework Club at the Ambler Borough Hall Gym, with the help of Patti Fabiani, Program Director and Assistant for the Wissahickon School District, and Heather Maltin Program Supervisor; this is the second year for this program and growing. These are all incredible things that the cupboard is doing, but to continue to provide these fantastic services, this and so many other food cupboards need your help.
When I asked Cindy where she would see the cupboard in five years, she said she would love to see the cupboard be a full-choice pantry. Clients can choose from a shopping list that a volunteer packs for them. But to accomplish this, Cindy would need to expand the facilities to house the much-needed food. Cindy would like to continue the outreach by celebrating 50 years of serving the community in honor of Ms. Mattie Dixon and her vision. With the increase of the Latin X population, her goal is to encourage families and individuals to come to the cupboard and know that it is a safe and no-judging zone. If you or you know of a bilingual person who would like to volunteer and help this population, don’t hesitate to contact Cindy. All the contact information will be in the links below.
In my eyes, there should not be any child or family that must go hungry in America if we all did just a little. Helping one another does not mean that you are giving up something; it merely means helping someone in need. So, I am challenging all our local businesses and communities to help raise awareness to help families and individuals get through tough times. You can choose to have a box in your store where patrons can drop off imperishable food or a clothing box for children. Or hold a community day in your store or block and give a percentage of your proceeds for one day to your local food pantries.
Be the example of how you would like to see your community, be the leader of hope, and show what humanity and humility look like. There is nothing like the feeling of a home not only where you sleep but also in your community. Knowing your community allows you to understand the faces and share a common interest and builds trust and a sense of unity. I have provided a list of pantries here in hopes that you find it in your heart to reach out and ask, “What can I do for you today?”