$25,000 buys a lot of food, heat ,and other life necessities. That’s the headline and the bottom line: the Pies on Parade event at the end of January raised $25,000 so that Area Interfaith Outreach (AIO) could help more of our Knox County neighbors through difficult times.
The idea for this event, born at the Historic Inns of Rockland twelve years ago, has grown to include twenty restaurants and businesses, all of them donating pies, labor, and time. Others contribute goods and services to the silent auction, and again this year Maritime Energy’s matching grant brought in $4,000 for heat assistance. Of course, the amazing success of Pie Day could not happen without the goodwill of the 615 people who bought those $30 tickets and who bid in the auction.
We, the volunteers who run the AIO food pantry and voucher desk, give heartfelt thanks for all of that on behalf of the nearly six hundred Rockland families who come to AIO for help every month – and further, on behalf of the hundred families each from Thomaston and Warren, and the fifty or so each from Camden, Rockport and St. George, and the dozens from Union, Washington, Hope, Cushing and Friendship. It’s about eleven hundred, month after month. If not for what AIO can supply, many good people – working families, elders, the disabled — would be even hungrier or colder, without electricity, without transportation to doctors, without shelter. AIO can never give them much, but what we can do matters.
The Knox County community is rich with caring, generous people. We at AIO see it all the time. Some write checks every month, as if fulfilling a pledge. Some who send notes with their checks or stop by with bags of groceries tell us they once needed help themselves and want to give back. This annual event is about more than pie and more than money. All those smiling people come together on Pie Day to celebrate community.