County Resident Honors Mother By Giving Back to the Community
Aubrey Alston, of Gaithersburg, said his mother did “the best she could with what she had.” He grew up in single parent home in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, and said his family was part of the “working-poor.”
Alston decided to start Julie’s Food Pantry, an organization to “uplift and support” Montgomery County’s low income families. He named the nonprofit after his mother.
“There were many days, we had more needs than ways to get them met… I never forgot that feeling and wanted to make a difference, that difference is Julie’s Love. … I wanted a way to honor her,” he wrote in an email to MyMCMedia.
On Feb. 14, the nonprofit is scheduled to host Love in Action at the First Baptist Church of Rockville from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where attendees can learn about county’s services, have lunch, and connect to resources.
“Families often struggle with generational cycles of poverty, depression, addiction, and the families that we support often mirror what mine looked like growing up,” Alston wrote.
In 2011, Julie’s Food Pantry reached to more than 80 families to gather donations for back to school supplies, Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts. Today, the nonprofit has partnered with local churches, Montgomery Works, and The Lord’s Table- a Gaithersburg community soup kitchen.
Alston added that the vision for Julie’s Food Pantry started as a way to supplement the meals of those in need throughout Gaithersburg.
“So what began as monthly food drives and donations to the local pantries turned into yearly holiday give back commitments to under-served low-income people in the community,” he wrote.
The nonprofit is involved in Food Recovery and The Recovery community. According to Alston, the true understanding of poverty has many layers and “at the heart of it for us has been helping the community understand the parallels of poverty and addiction.”
“The ability to serve, doesn’t have to be a gigantic quest to save the world. Once I understood that; I began aligning and redefining my purpose and the mission of Julie’s Love. On top of surrounding the organization with a cooperative community of people who wanted to serve those in need. Once that happened the goals for the organization became attainable. There is still a lot to be accomplished and we are up to the task,” he wrote.