Chris Rhodes organized a food drive Feb. 29 to March 16 to benefit the Community Hope Center. Rhodes collected more than 500 items to donate to the nonprofit organization in Cottage Hills through his Madison County Scanner Facebook page.
ALTON — As a young man involved with Boy Scouts and an Alton Police Explorer, Chris Rhodes found a lot of ways to give back through community service projects. As an adult, Rhodes still feels that driving force to help others.
Rhodes started the Madison County Illinois Scanner Page on Facebook to help with communication between emergency services and the communities they serve. Facebook users can log in the page to get updates and information pertaining to high-priority incidents involving EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies in Madison County.
Rhodes used the page to get the word out to help an organization that he’s always felt led to help but didn’t know where to start.
“I overheard a couple of women at the grocery story about a month ago,” Rhodes said. “They were volunteers at the Community Hope Center and they said that they were really struggling and were running out of food at the center. They weren’t sure what they were going to do if they did run out.”
Rhodes turned to his Facebook followers and asked the members of the community if they would be willing to help the Community Hope Center through a food drive. OfficeMax printed fliers that were posted in local businesses to spread the word.
Rhodes organized with the Wood River, East Alton and Collage Hills post offices, Alton Memorial Hospital, the Brass Monkey, Riverbend Billiards and the Rosewood Heights Sanitary District to have drop-off boxes at their locations for the food drive.
“I went every day to pick up non-perishable food and hygiene items at the drop-off locations,” Rhodes said. “We stored everything in my garage from Feb. 29 until March 16. The donations started off slow until an anonymous business donated roughly 300 items. That really kicked it off for us.”
At 11:30 a.m. March 16, Rhodes delivered more than 500 items to the Community Hope Center to help replenish the food pantry.
Rhodes would like to thank the anonymous business that made a large donation. If representatives of the business would be willing to contact him through a private message on the Madison County Illinois Scanner Page on Facebook, he would like to thank them personally.
Anyone interested in donating food, grocery store gift cards, used clothing or new undergarments can contact Community Hope Center Assistant Executive Director Denise Ukena at 1201 Hope Center Lane (P.O. Box 124) in Cottage Hills or call (618) 259-0959. Donations are tax-deductible.