Meet a Neighborhood Coordinator: Candice Goerger
Candice Goerger lives in Carrboro with her husband, Ben, and son, Garrett. She and Ben both work at UNC. Candice first inquired about becoming the Neighborhood Coordinator for her street, but when she realized there were other streets nearby that didn’t have anyone serving in the role, she decided to take on more. We are so glad she did! Read on to learn about what motivates Candice and to discover her tips for doing this work more effectively.
(Neighborhood Coordinators organize the monthly food collections for a neighborhood or street. 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 non-perishable bags of food to a central location. Interested in finding out more about the role of Neighborhood Coordinator? Get in touch with us! firstname.lastname@example.org)
How did you first hear about PORCH?
We participated in PORCH in our old Chapel Hill neighborhood. We received an email from our Neighborhood Coordinator welcoming us to the neighborhood and introducing and informing us of PORCH’s mission and service within the community. My family has always been aware of food insecurities that exist in our communities. Prior to moving back to Chapel Hill, we lived in Decatur, Georgia, where we would volunteer at the Atlanta Food Bank. When we moved back into Chapel Hill in 2018, it was great to see that our neighborhood was participating in PORCH. We always looked forward to contributing each month.
You stepped up to be the Neighborhood Coordinator for your street, but when you realized there were other streets in your vicinity without a NC, you decided to serve in this capacity for the entire Barred Owl Creek neighborhood in Carrboro. Why did you want to take this on?
The short answer is that it needed to be done, and I felt compelled to help do my part to serve our community. Our newly named neighborhood didn’t have a Neighborhood Coordinator, and when asked if I would take on the role, I accepted with no hesitation.
For those that know me, I’m not big on talk; I’m big on action (definitely a doer, not a talker). It’s important to recognize that there are members of our community, our own neighbors, who are food insecure. It’s our duty to help everyone in our community, and I’m grateful that PORCH has given me that opportunity.
What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with PORCH?
Do it. PORCH is a wonderful organization run by dedicated volunteers. It’s well organized, and they’ve made my job as a Neighborhood Coordinator so easy.
Why do you think PORCH’s mission is so critical?
Unfortunately, hunger and food insecurity exist in all communities. But there’s no reason that we, as a community, can’t provide for our neighbors in need, especially given the significant resources we have in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. PORCH is critical to help bridge the gap between those of us who want to help our neighbors. Because of PORCH, you can be sure that your donations are directly helping local food pantries and families in need in our communities.
Do you have any tips/tricks you can offer to help others be more effective Neighborhood Coordinators?
Don’t give up! Through consistent communication – and some persistence – you can make a big impact as a neighborhood. Don’t forget why we’re doing this. It’s a critical mission, and no donation is too small. Encourage your neighbors to donate what they can, when they can.