Portraits in Generosity highlights our Sustaining Donors, the people who’ve committed to a monthly donation to the South Bay Food Pantry
Judy Ramirez, who calls the South Bay campus her church home, is one of the Pantry’s earliest and most loyal donors. She knew Maureen McNair, who founded the Pantry, and learned about the Pantry soon after its launch in December 2019— “people in the South Bay campus were talking about it.” She wrote a check to support its work, and she’s written a check every month since.
Judy is 82, retired after a long career in education, first teaching in public schools, then for 30 years, working as an environmental educator. She taught environmental concepts at the Tijuana Estuary, and developed the Natural History Museum’s environmental education program in Baja California. Before her retirement, she worked at the Borrego Springs State Park.
I asked her whether supporting the Pantry’s mission reflects her commitment to UU values. She sees the Pantry reflecting her personal values, adding that her personal values dovetail with UU principles; “it’s why I’m a member of this church.”
Writing a check to the pantry every month puts those values into action. “All of us have a right to food security,” she said. “I’m personally okay for food security, and therefore it’s my responsibility to help those who aren’t secure. Everybody deserves to have enough nourishing food.”
She wishes she could volunteer for the pantry, but health concerns prevent her. But her financial commitment has been a source of satisfaction, and it strengthens her connection with the Pantry. She’s glad to know that the Pantry is the largest and the fastest growing mission of the church. “It makes me feel really good to know my church does something so practical and fundamental.”
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