Business holds canned food drive

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

As we enter this holiday season, people feel compelled to reach out into the community and lend a helping hand more so than any other time of the year.

On Friday, Curves owners and members extended their hand into the community once again to help those in need by having a canned food drive.

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“We wanted to help people in need have a blessed Thanksgiving,” Curves Co-owner Leon Shepherd said.

According to Shepherd, the goal was to collect 500 pounds of food to be given to the Food Bank. With the support of Curves members and of the community, that goal was exceeded by 35 pounds as of 6 p.m. Friday.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” Shepherd said of the overwhelming support of the drive.

Some people heard the announcement from WJAM DJs Paul and Scott Alexander who where on site at Curves.

Others found out from flyers distributed by Curves and others by word of mouth.

With a huge smile on his face, Shepherd expressed how pleased he was with the way the Curves members supported the drive, making multiple drops at the gym.

Within a few minutes of saying that, a member

– who wanted to remain anonymous – came by with 27 food items. This was her third donation.

“This helps bring people together,” she said. “I like to help people.”

But helping people wasn’t her only motive.

“I love Curves,” she said.

“I’m a walking Curves billboard.”

Curves member, Caroline Sexton, was another big donor who brought in more than 30 food items.

“There are those who are less fortunate than I am,” she said.

“I wanted to be able to give back to the community.”

Shepherd said he’d never dealt with a food bank before and wasn’t sure if he and business partner Camella Hollaway should attempt a food drive, so he got online and did a bit of research.

He found that more than one of every five people in Alabama lives in poverty and has difficulty meeting basic nutritional needs (

According to Shepherd, after reading that statement, he was sold on the idea.

“I wanted to make sure it goes to the right people,” he said as his reason for research.

Curves was offering a membership to non-members who brought 10 or more canned goods to the drive and many responded, but some people just wanted to give because they thought it was just “the right thing to do.”

“That’s exciting to me,” Shepherd said.