On the last day of the year, an anonymous check arrived at the food bank’s office. While that’s not unheard of, the amount was — $25,000.
“It’s a huge surprise, a nice way to finish out a big year,” said Trevor Jones, executive director of Kodiak Baptist Mission, which operates the food bank. “It was a big year for us in terms of people coming out and the food we distributed.”
Since 2000, the food bank has ended each year with a deficit, but this year offered challenges above and beyond normal, Jones said. The influx of seasonal foreign workers to Kodiak Island outpaced the supply of jobs, leaving many without food or a place to live.
“The past three years have been exceptionally demanding,” Jones said. “This year, we got into June and it was apparent to us we were going to distribute our allocations for the year by July.”
That led the food bank to ration its supplies, focusing on families, the disabled and the elderly.
“That was a tough thing for us to do,” Jones said. “It was the only way we were going to make it through the year.”
At the end of the year, the food bank found itself facing a budget deficit of about $25,000. Then Jones got his mail.
“Literally, a letter showed up with a check,” he said. “Our bookkeeper walked in with complete surprise and showed me the letter, and we were just blown away by it.”
The letter, which came from Schwab Charitable Funds, explained that the check was an anonymous donation. That didn’t stop Jones from trying to find the money’s source. When he tried calling Schwab, though, he was politely rebuffed.
“They just wished us the best,” he said.
While Jones doesn’t know who contributed the money, he suspects it’s someone close to the food bank. The gift almost precisely covered the bank’s annual deficit.
It was a positive end to 2011, but Jones still worries about summer 2012.
“I hope that people will still be involved and help us get through the year ahead of us,” he said.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiak