First Impressions:

How Does Non-Profit, Volunteer-Run Food Bank Serve 4,000 People? Cunningham Communications Telephone Answering Service Takes the Calls

By Sue Cunningham-Milito

How does a volunteer-run, non-profit food bank and 24/7 emergency assistance center help 4,000 people annually despite having no-paid staff? The Cunningham Communications telephone answering service handles its calls around the clock.

“People call us in crisis any time of the day or night and they need our help right away. They want to talk to a real person, not voice mail.” 

Volunteer Michelle Shaw coordinates Family Assistance for Share of McLean, the 501c3 charitable organization celebrating its 50th year of service in northern Virginia.

In addition to its food bank, Share of McLean gives emergency financial assistance to help people avoid utility shut offs or evictions.

The non-profit is a collaborative effort of nearly 20 churches and local community organizations.

Share assists “neighbors in need” with food, furniture, clothing, laptop computers, and back-to-school supplies. Its clients include the working poor and those whom have lost jobs.

Senior citizens, persons with disabilities or suffering from catastrophic medical situations know that help is just a call away at Share of McLean.

As a non-profit organization, Share depends entirely upon donations. Gifts from private citizens, faith-based groups, school organizations, civic clubs, local businesses and corporations stock its food pantry and clothing racks.

Donors offering assistance and volunteers seeking to help are among the 50 to 60 calls Share of McLean receives each week.

Volunteers collect and refurbish computers for students to use, gather and distribute back-to-school supplies. Share of McLean makes about 500 trips each year to deliver furniture.

Share’s annual Christmas party distributes $50,000 worth of toys, games, gift cards and food to the 250 families it serves.

“Our utmost concern is that all of our clients are treated with respect when they call. Cunningham Communications has been very good. Their operators are so responsive and resourceful, kind and considerate. They think on their feet and make things happen.”

Michelle Shaw  “did a lot of research” about telephone answering services before she selected Cunningham Communications a couple years ago. Shaw was impressed to learn that Cunningham Communications is a family-owned company.

“It’s nice to have our telephone answering service be as receptive as we are. They are an integral part of what we do.”

How can Cunningham Communications help your organization connect with your clients in real time? Let’s talk. Call us at 616-459-6500.