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Tad Beckwith - YCAP receives amazing gift

Submitted photoAlex Feinberg and McMinnville native LiAnna Davis were married this fall on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Tahoe. In lieu of wedding gifts, the couple requested contributions to their favorite charities.
Submitted photo
Alex Feinberg and McMinnville native LiAnna Davis were married this fall on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Tahoe. In lieu of wedding gifts, the couple requested contributions to their favorite charities.
Tad Beckwith works at YCAP Food Bank as fundraiser and “food-raiser.” He grew up in Dayton and moved back to Yamhill County from Portland last year. He enjoys biking locally and abroad, hiking with his wife, Alanna, and playing peek-a-boo with his 1-year-old son.
Tad Beckwith works at YCAP Food Bank as fundraiser and “food-raiser.” He grew up in Dayton and moved back to Yamhill County from Portland last year. He enjoys biking locally and abroad, hiking with his wife, Alanna, and playing peek-a-boo with his 1-year-old son.

McMinnville native LiAnna Davis and Alex Feinberg of San Francisco recently gave YCAP an amazing gift. They were getting married and making wedding plans. They chose a nontraditional site for the ceremony: High Camp above Lake Tahoe, California, and rode the gondola up the mountain in their wedding attire. And instead of a more traditional registry, they asked their family and friends to donate money to nonprofit food banks in their honor.

As Food Bank Resource Development Coordinator for YCAP (Yamhill Community Action Partnership) for almost a year, I manage food donations. I’ve had the privilege of witnessing hundreds of acts of generosity and service. Neighbors help neighbors in need by bringing in some extra tomatoes from their gardens or donating in memory of a loved one. The heart of Yamhill County is open.

Celebrating a marriage with requests to support the food bank is the most unique gift YCAP has ever seen.

Alex’s and LiAnna’s parents are longtime supporters of their communities’ food banks and, apparently, the couple thought these organizations were the perfect choice to place on their “registry.”

“Alex and I are fortunate enough to own a well-stocked home already,” LiAnna explained. “We both grew up in communities where there were people much less fortunate than we were. We don’t need another set of dishes, especially when there are people in our community struggling to feed their families.” LiAnna and Alex decided to help feed the hungry rather than accept more material goods as wedding gifts. Consequently, their financial gift to food banks also reflects their desire for a more sustainable world.

For many years, Alex’s mother, Mary Feinberg, has been a volunteer with the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Alex’s hometown of Oakland, California. She started volunteering one day a week to bag produce for distribution in March 2007, and soon her skills at data entry were put to use tracking volunteer hours. Now, she also volunteers twice a month helping with the Children’s BackPack Program, which every week throughout the school year supplies about 2,000 bags of food to local children.

LiAnna’s father, Mark Davis, was the treasurer of the YCAP board for 10 years and served on the Construction Committee for the new YCAP building, completed in 2011. Her mother, Ellie Gunn, started the “Lend a Hand” banner project that raised money for YCAP’s new building. She created many of the banners that became colorful decorations at the food bank.

The results of the wedding gift request were impressive. In honor of their marriage, friends and family of Alex and LiAnna donated more than $10,000 to YCAP!

When you consider that a mere $10 donation can be stretched to provide 33 meals for county residents struggling with hunger — as an emergency food box, food at a homeless shelter or hot meals at a meal site — the effects of these wedding gifts will be immense.

LiAnna was thrilled at the generosity of her friends and family. Many guests told her they donated more money than what they would have spent on a gift simply to support the food banks. She works as director of programs for the nonprofit Wiki Education Foundation in San Francisco, so she knows first hand how much donations matter to small nonprofits like YCAP.

“The meals this money will provide to families in our hometowns are very rewarding to us,” LiAnna said. “We felt like this was a great way to honor the communities that nurtured us growing up and brought us to where we are today. I’m thankful our friends and family responded so generously to our request to support our hometown food banks.”

Lee Means, executive director of YCAP, noted that people make donations to honor birthdays or in memory of a loved one, but this was the first time the nonprofit had received contributions from a wedding.

“It has been such a pleasure working in a community where so many people, agencies and businesses believe in collaboratively helping residents who have hit a rough spot in life,” she said. “I’m always amazed at the unique and creative ways people find to help others. Naming two food banks as their wedding registry is truly a gift that keeps on giving.”

So if you find yourself wondering what to give people who already have all they need, please consider donating money to one of the worthy community organizations or service clubs providing food, shelter, money for emergency expenses or other services.

A financial donation is not the only way to help. Every day, people donate their time to read books to children, mediate disputes, listen to those who are hurting, shelve books in the library, plant trees, give blood, greet people at the hospital and otherwise help patients giving birth or facing death.

Time is precious, yet both random or planned acts of kindness create the kind of love that makes a community strong.

Guest writer Tad Beckwith works at YCAP Food Bank as fundraiser and “food-raiser.” He grew up in Dayton and moved back to Yamhill County from Portland last year. He enjoys biking locally and abroad, hiking with his wife, Alanna, and playing peek-a-boo with his 1-year-old son.

Comments

bgwill

Thanks to LiAnna and Alex, and to Tad, for sharing this story. What a generous donation to our community!

Lulu

Someday they'll regret not having the avocado green fondue set.

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