Meet a Neighborhood Coordinator: Betty Davis

Notable Neighbors

Betty Davis and her husband, Wade, have lived in the Wolfs Pond neighborhood for more than 40 years. They raised their son and daughter there while Betty worked as a nurse and Wade worked as an electrical engineer for the university. 

Through the years, the Davises have welcomed many new neighbors to the area. Betty now includes a brochure about her monthly nonperishable food collection for PORCH in the welcome packet for new residents.

When Betty needed hip replacement surgery, Wade got more involved with the PORCH efforts, becoming Betty’s hands and feet. He has continued this work, bringing new ideas and helping to streamline the food sorting process.

Wade loves antique cars, and Betty has a green thumb and enjoys being outside. In their free time, they visit with their children and grandchildren, who live an hour away. 

Read on to learn about how Betty first discovered PORCH through Redbook and to find out her tips for doing this work more effectively.

Note: Neighborhood Coordinators like Betty organize the monthly food collections for these active neighborhoods or streets. They are responsible for spreading the word about the designated day for the monthly food drives, picking up donations from neighborhood porches, and getting the nonperishable bags of food to a central location. Interested in finding out more about the role of Neighborhood Coordinator? Get in touch with us!

How did you first hear about PORCH? 
I read about PORCH in a Redbook magazine over 10 years ago and learned about something happening right in my own backyard! I went to the website and learned even more about the nonprofit organization. I showed up one Monday morning for a food sort and became a neighborhood coordinator the next month.

What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with PORCH? 
I would tell anyone who is interested in PORCH that it is a rewarding feeling to be a small part of a “well-oiled machine” that is doing so much for the food insecure in our area. There were 50 or so neighborhoods represented around the time I joined, and there are over 120 neighborhoods now.

Why do you think PORCH’s mission is so critical? 
The PORCH mission to fight hunger has been even more critical during the COVID pandemic. There were so many folks out of work. Many children rely on school breakfast and lunch as a main source of food, and that was interrupted. Food banks had a critical shortage beyond what they had ever seen.

Do you have any tips/tricks you can offer to help others be more effective Neighborhood Coordinators?  
One thing that has increased our neighborhood giving has been to announce the PORCH collection earlier in the week. I usually send out a neighborhood email about the upcoming food collection a week in advance. I place the PORCH signs by my mailbox and a collection tub in front. We are the first house in a “no-outlet” neighborhood, so everyone coming and going sees the signs and collection tub. Neighbors can drop items in the box during the week and weekend at their convenience.