- By Ashley Bollinger
- Published: November 10th, 2010
Gleaning For The World (GFTW) is a group whose effort is not in recruiting and sending people, but in meeting the tangible needs of those who supply the manpower in times of great devastation.
Organizations need supplies, GFTW Communication Director Ismael LaBiosa explained, they have people and they can send some help, but what they really need is tangible support.
With national food and medical suppliers ending each day with hundreds of pounds of leftover supplies, LaBiosa said GFTW sees it is their responsibility as Christians to use the principle of gleaning — collecting what is leftover — to redistribute that to places it is desperately needed.
“In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, I visited an orphanage of mentally-disabled children,” president and founder of GFTW Rev. Ron Davidson said. “The orphanage was doing all it could to help, but they needed food, supplies, and toys that could be used for physical therapy. My heart was touched and the future course of Gleaning For The World was set.”
Beginning in a basement apartment in 1998 with not more than a burdened heart and a strong will, Davidson began the journey which would unfold to become an impactful supportive organization rated among the top charities by Forbes in 2007.
The focus of GFTW is not only on international devastation and poverty, but also reaching out to those in need of tangible support in the Central Virginia area. Their latest project, “Feeding our Neighbors.,” helps feed those who are unemployed in the area, which according to Virginia Employment Commission is nearly 7 percent of the population.
GFTW is offering students and local community members the opportunity to become involved with the “Feeding our Neighbors” drive as well. During the Nov. 20 Liberty football game, any person who brings five cans or boxes of non-perishable food will be granted free entrance to the game.
“Our goal is to fill as many trucks as we can. We know that the students care about their community, and this is just one way we are giving them the opportunity to help out,” LaBiosa said.
GFTW anticipates being able to reach the community by donating over 1 million pounds of non-perishable goods to food banks all over the Central Virginia area.
“GFTW is a ministry. Sending the right supplies is just as important as sending the right people,” LaBiosa said.