JOHNSON COUNTY– At a time of year that emphasizes giving and good will, a group of local businesses have joined together to make a difference for those who may be struggling.
Each year, Forever Green Nursery and Garden Center in Coralville (just south of North Liberty) chooses an organization to support during the Christmas season. Forever Green co-owner Lucy Hershberger was searching for a way to raise money for and increase awareness of the work the North Liberty Community Pantry does in the community. After having successfully partnered with other businesses to raise money to purchase school supplies each fall, Hershberger decided to extend the giving spirit into the next season. When she asked other business owners if they would like to join in the fundraising effort, the positive response was overwhelming; within a few days there were 17 businesses involved, and more expressing an interest.
Businesses were asked to either make a donation or create a promotion that would generate funds to be donated to the North Liberty Community Pantry. Each business will contribute in its own unique way, but all are working together for one goal: to support the North Liberty Community Pantry’s mission to provide food for those who need it. Promotions range from donating a portion of their sales to providing items to auction or making a donation for every Facebook “like” they receive. Participating businesses include retailers to restaurants, service companies and many more, making it easy for anyone to shop local and support others in the community.
“We had such a good response for our other fundraising events, I thought there might be businesses who would like to join us in supporting the pantry,” said Hershberger. “Having so many businesses excited to be involved in this campaign shows what a great business community we have here.”
The North Liberty Community Pantry serves North Liberty and surrounding areas. Their programs provide more than just food. The pantry also offers education opportunities, cooking workshops and clothing, including winter coats, hats, gloves, socks and underwear for school children. With client use increasing to over 800 visits in November, the need for the pantry’s services continues to grow. With the support of the community, and by simply shopping local this holiday season, that need can be met.
List of participating businesses as of Friday, Nov. 22, included:
Common Threads Quilt Shoppe
Dan’s Overhead Doors & More
Forever Green Landscaping, Nursery, Garden Center & Greenhouses
Gateway Access Realty
Holiday Trailer Park
JJ’s Cupcakes & More
North Liberty Leader
Portraits By Jeanna
Vortex Business Solutions
For more information on the participating business and their promotions contact Lucy Hershberger at 319-626-6770 or 319-430-9488, email firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit Forevergreen Garden Center at 125 Forevergreen Rd., in Coralville (just south of North Liberty).
For information on the North liberty Community Pantry, contact director Tina Dubois at 319-626-2711, or visit the website at northlibertycommunitypantry.org.