After seeing what his daughter-in-law Deb had started and watching his son Keith get involved too, it didn’t take Frank Adams too long to start helping to feed his neighbors.
When he started volunteering, Common Heart had just become an official nonprofit and was renting a small storage room in the back of a check cashing business in Monroe. That’s where he began sorting and stocking shelves full of nonperishables and where he reignited his passion for serving others.
Over the years, Frank held many volunteer positions in the food pantry and earned a Lifetime Volunteer Award from Common Heart in 2018 for his years of service. He was the first Cupboard Manager and took on all those responsibilities (as a volunteer!) and more.
Frank led volunteers, picked up donations from local grocery stores and Second Harvest food bank, helped run the evening Mill Grove UMC evening food pantry and so much more. He was a staple at annual fundraising events including the Love in Action Banquet (working behind the scenes in the kitchen!) and supervising the distribution of drinks, oranges and bananas at the finish line of the Firecracker Run.
He retired from his volunteering “career” a few years ago just before his 80th birthday.
“I really enjoyed it. The interest I had, and why I volunteered for so long, was of course making sure people got food,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing right there. There’s a lot of people in need.”
When Common Heart moved the pantry in January 2007 into a 300 square foot rented space in Indian Trail, Frank recalls how exciting it was that they finally had a freezer (just one!) and several refrigerators to keep fresh produce and meat. He marvels at the growth of Common Heart and the not one, but two, sets of industrial walk-in freezers and coolers the food pantries have now.
He also remembers when they got their first box truck (it was yellow!) to pick up food donations during weekly trips to Second Harvest.
“Boy, that was exciting,” he said. “At the time we didn’t have anything to use for transport, except our personal vehicles. I was having some things done at our house and I commented to the guy that I liked his truck and he asked if I wanted to buy it, so we did! It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Over the years, I’ve really seen how the Lord has provided for Common Heart like that over and over again.”
As a “people person,” Frank says he always enjoyed meeting volunteers and building some great long-lasting friendships too.
“I still have some of those relationships even now, and still keep in touch,” he said.
We asked Frank what he thinks will be in store for Common Heart in the next 15 years. He said he doesn’t know but is certain volunteers will continue to serve their neighbors with kindness and compassion.
“It’s been incredible to watch,” he said. “I’m so proud of Common Heart and what has been accomplished.”