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I volunteer with the Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang

Photo Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Andrew Boyd

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang is a group of volunteers who make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and wash-up kits, to deliver them to locations in need. I went to the Church of the Good Shepherd to help make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang has a long history. Joe Dugan started it all 25 years ago. He went to delis and used strips of meat to make the sandwiches. Today we make them with peanut butter and jelly. Volunteers meet up in the church two Saturdays every month.

The volunteers work very hard to reach their goal of sandwiches to make and have succeeded every year. Even when fewer people come to help, they make their goal every time. The day I went there, about 50 people came to help. Their goal that day was to make 710 sandwiches, and they exceeded their goal by making 820.

They also make wash-up kits that include towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, candy and a note that says “Jesus loves you.” All these items come from hotels that donate the unused toiletries.

All the sandwiches and wash-up kits go to St. Ann’s Church in Brentwood. Any extras go in the freezer of St. Ann’s Church and are given out the next day. Nothing goes to waste.

Jerry, one of the organizers, said he volunteers his time for this because he enjoys this work and wants to do something nice for the homeless. Many participants present that day shared a similar reason to come and help. It was a heartwarming experience to watch and participate in this selfless act of love and care. The Peanut Butter and Jelly Gang encourages people to join them in their venture to help the poor.

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