The giving spirit
Each day this holiday season, The Times will spotlight a person or couple who give of themselves to help others in the community. Today, meet Yvonne and King Gore, who spend about 20 hours a week helping deliver meals to seniors.
Yvonne and King Gore have fed a lot of families over the last eight years.
They each spend about 20 hours a week helping deliver meals to seniors and distributing boxes of food to hungry local families.
The Gore's have been involved with charitable groups for most of their lives, but decided to do something more hands-on after they retired.
"Since we've been retirees, we've stepped it up a notch," Yvonne Gore said. "We do a lot of this together."
King Gore's mother inspired their current involvement. His mother has been a Meals on Wheels recipient for 15 years and the program allows her to continue to live on her own. In 2003, King and Yvonne signed up to volunteer with Meals on Wheels.
"We're not up there to help her in Baltimore, but we can help people here," his wife said.
Every week for the last eight years, the Gores load up their vehicle with hot meals to take to home-bound seniors. They have developed relationships with many of the seniors on their routes.
One of the women on their route has a special place in their hearts.
"She's a lot of fun and we kid her a lot," King Gore said. "She doesn't like fish. So every meal I take her I tell her ‘We've got a nice fish dinner for you.'"
But visiting seniors isn't their only commitment. The Gores also serve as directors of the Gainesville Community Food Pantry.
"That's really our time consumer. We're there two full days a week," Yvonne Gore said.
The couple became involved with the food pantry through their church, First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville. Since they became directors two years ago, they've watched the food pantry grow.
"It's doubled in size in the last couple of years and we've tripled in clients," Yvonne said.
The food pantry serves about 45 families a week.
The Gores are responsible for ordering food, keeping track of the paperwork and coordinating the other volunteers.
They admit the roles they play with the food pantry and Meals on Wheels require a lot of work, but the endeavors are things they enjoy doing.
"The smile you get from the person you just gave food to or the meal you delivered brings you back," King Gore said.
One man in particular sticks out in his memory. He said a man called him at home last spring. The man was new to the area, out of work and hungry. He was having difficulty asking for help but King told him he didn't need to feel that way.
"You could tell this man was embarrassed but I believe that's the case with many (people). They would rather not have it that way," he said.
Yvonne Gore said she is glad to be able to help feed people that need it. She said it makes her feel good to know that she has helped to relieve a family's or a child's hunger.
"Nobody should have to be hungry in Gainesville because there is food available," she said.
Through their work with Meals on Wheels and the food pantry, the Gores have met a lot of people who have made an impact on them.
"I think really every one of them makes a difference in your life," Yvonne Gore said.
The Gores also recognize that so many of those people wouldn't be able to get the help they need if it weren't for all of the other volunteers in the community.
"Those of us that can (help), that's our responsibility actually," she said.
They try and impart that sense of responsibility onto their two sons and four grandchildren by giving them opportunities to give back.
"You can't be too young to be interested in what goes on in your community," Yvonne said.