News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 25, 2013

Orange Days for the hungry

Volunteers preparing ribbons for annual campaign for food bank

TERRE HAUTE — In most cases, “Orange Friday” gives sports fans a day to show support for their teams, such as the San Francisco Giants, Tennessee Volunteers or Clemson Tigers.

But, in Terre Haute, thanks to volunteers and VNA & Hospice of the Wabash Valley, Orange Friday means putting food in hungry mouths.

For a fifth year, folks are asked to purchase an orange ribbon and wear it proudly to show their support for the Catholic Charities food bank, which receives 100 percent of the proceeds from ribbon sales. The color orange signifies hunger.

Organizers hope to raise about $5,000 this year through Orange Friday, set for Nov. 22, said Jennifer Buell, development director for Catholic Charities of Terre Haute. Buell was one of the volunteers prepping ribbons, which sell for $3, Thursday morning at Java Haute.

It is hoped Orange Friday this year will generate enough money to provide 20,000 meals for hungry families, Buell said.

“We operate year round,” Buell said of the food bank. “The need is there year round.”

Shoppers typically spend big money on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Orange Friday asks people to share a little of their giving spirit, said Robin Heng, a volunteer and founder of Orange Friday.

Since its start, Orange Friday has raised more than $15,000 for hungry people in the area, Heng said as she tied orange ribbons at Java Haute with other volunteers. The money will help Catholic Charities provide food such as milk, cheese, meats and other perishable items, she said.

Orange Friday has grown over the years from a small event at Baesler’s Market to a much larger affair, Heng said. Now many more businesses, such as Terre Haute Regional Hospital and others, are making orange ribbons available for their customers and employees.

Heng and the other Orange Friday volunteers would like to see people wearing their ribbons all week before Nov. 22.

Orange Friday always comes one week before Black Friday.

Any workplaces, organizations or churches wishing to sell ribbons are encouraged to contact Catholic Charities at (812) 232-1447 or VNA & Hospice of the Wabash Valley at (812) 232-7611.

 Ribbons will be available to the general public at Baesler’s Market on Nov. 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

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