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Food Bank Volunteer Shows One CAN Make a Difference

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

For Immediate Release 6/12/2020 In tough times, individuals can make a difference. Tanya Kief, of Washington County PA, is just such a person. Tanya is very involved in her community and she decided to use her connections and experience to make a difference. In the past, she has stepped in to hold fundraisers for organizations as diverse as the Washington Humane Society, Pet Search, Habitat for Humanity, and the Alzheimer's Association. When COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders hit, Ms. Kief recognized a critical, emerging need. With so many people at home, under quarantine and out of work, hunger was going to be a very real issue. Being from Washington County, she gravitated toward the local food bank, Greater Washington County Food Bank, and she set a personal goal of raising $20,000 to alleviate food insecurity during the month of May. Not only did she make her goal, but Tanya Kief actually raised almost 25% more than she set out to raise. By the time of this publication, she has single-handedly raised $24,250.74 and collected over 2,400 additional pounds of food. “Tanya is first-hand proof that one person can truly make a difference. Tanya’s work ethic and dedication to reaching her goal has allowed Greater Washington County Food Bank to continue to help the community in the upcoming months. We intend to continue using some of Tanya’s methods to allow for greater volunteer opportunities on weekends as well as reaching out to many in the Washington County Community who are looking for opportunities to give. I want to thank all of the managers and supervisors at each location that granted permission for these drives to occur, as the response we got from the public is what made this all happen,” said Justin McAtee, Director of Marketing, who worked with her from start to finish on her drive. Tanya first had the idea of using her contacts in the radio and DJ world to organize virtual dance parties where people could join on Facebook and Twitch. She worked with GWCFB to set up a virtual food drive so anyone could donate online during the event, and throughout the month. DJ Michael Joseph and AJ Fresh donated their time to help raise over $1,000 in this effort. Next, she connected with several business partners in the Washington area, including Washington Financial, Wabellco, Wesbanco, CHROME FCU, Slovenian Savings and Loan, and numerous others. Tanya then took charge in organizing on-site food drives in several locations around Washington County, including setting up at Washington Walmart, Shop N Save, Sam’s Club, Rural King, and Washington Area Teachers FCU. This approach made the most impact, as she was able to schedule volunteers, with help of the food bank, and in a 6 hour shift, was able to raise an average of $1,375 for Greater Washington County Food Bank at each location she hosted a food drive at. Tanya exceeded her goal of raising $20,000, raising a grand total of $24,250.74. “I would tell anyone interested in getting involved that the public's generosity is so great, you just need to be willing to put in the time to organize and run the events. If you put the time in to network and socialize, the community will support you,” said Tanya. “The food bank had helped me with food when I was in need, not only during Covid but a few times in the past throughout my years raising a family. I believe in paying it forward when possible.” The Greater Washington County Food Bank was so impressed with her accomplishments that it has decided to incorporate the “One CAN Make a Difference” into its monthly food and fundraising efforts and is looking for volunteers to get involved. Any inquiries to find out more information about being a “One CAN” host can be directed to Justin McAtee at or 724-632-2190 x128

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