It is late July and many things are going on associated with Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS).
Recently, the organization participated in the Chalk Art Challenge community fundraiser for PARS. Scott Granville organized the event. Teams of artists brought their own chalk to create non-political/social commentary art of their choosing using the area of the Community Bible Church parking lot assigned to them. The suggested themes were God’s goodness and encouragement. The artists created from 9 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 17. Community Bible and New Life Church provided pizza and devotions at 6 p.m. for participating artists.
On Saturday, July 18, the public was invited to 1516 N.Harrison St. to view and vote for their favorite artistic creations from 9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Votes were made with dollars. The money raised was intended for to PARS Capital Campaign and would be matched by Delta Dental and Scott and Julia Jones.
Local judges were to view the artworks, as well. Judges included T.F. Riggs Art teacher Jill Kokesh, State Legislator Mary Duvall, writer/director Andrew Kightlinger, and South Dakota’s First Gentleman Bryon Noem. Winners were announced at noon.
From May — July 6, PARS accepted applications from Hughes and Stanley County families that would not be able to afford the items on their child(ren)’s supply list for the upcoming school year. On Sunday, July 12, PARS provided approximately 30 backpacks that were distributed to be filled by local volunteer shoppers who attended the One Hope Ecumenical Service in Griffin Park. Forty-four families have turned in applications, and school supplies are needed for 97 children. Groups participating in the gathering of school supplies are Lutheran Memorial Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, and First Baptist Church. A group of youth-led shoppers called Simon Says Give may also be working with PARS to provide school supplies for their less fortunate peers.
PARS is a nonprofit 501 ©(3) organization and is always in need of donations of money as well as hygiene, household items, and food for our food pantry. Some items needed in the food pantry are rice (2-pound bags), jelly (plastic jars preferred), oatmeal (4-6 serving size), milk, peanut butter, beef stew, cans of fruit, cereal, chunky soups, cooking oil (24-ounce size), elbow macaroni, flour (4-pound bags), juice (plastic bottles), spaghetti sauce (cans), sugar (4-pound bags or smaller), pasta meals, canned meat (tuna, chicken, Spam), pancake mix, canned soup, baked beans, and eggs.
When in doubt what to give, just think what you would need for your family to prepare several meals. We just ask that donations are unopened and are dated prior to the suggested pull date on the food item container.
We have changed how the Food Pantry is accessed at this time. Individuals and families no longer shop in the pantry, but rather PARS pre-packs boxes depending on the size of the family to provide potentially a month’s worth of food. The boxes are brought outside to be picked-up by a family in need after calling ahead and driving to PARS. It is a large quantity of food and too heavy to be carried. All services are being conducted over the phone. PARS is located at 110 W. Missouri Ave. and our phone number is 605-224-8731.
On Tuesday, July 21, two local restaurants were to donate a portion of their proceeds to PARS. Gators Pizza was to donate $3 for every large pizza purchased to PARS. Gators has been doing PARS Nite since April every Tuesday. Gators is located in the North Ridge Plaza, call 224-6262. Pizza Ranch of Fort Pierre also had a fundraiser for PARS. Fifteen percent of all food purchased that night went to support the PARS BackPack program to provide weekend food for area school children during the school year. Pizza Ranch’s phone number is 233-9114.
PARS thanks everyone in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area for their continued support to help those in need.