Volume 4 | August 2017
Notes from the Executive Coordinator
As White Pony Express approaches its 4th anniversary we want to thank all of you who have given of your time, energy, money, and support. This miracle could not have occurred without all of you. We are doing this together, an integrated force to uplift those suffering from hunger and poverty: 2,500 tons of food rescued and delivered; 295,000 articles of new or like-new clothing, plus 85,000 toys and children’s books, and 30,000 diapers.


This integrated force is gathering new momentum as we dedicate ourselves to doing more for the underserved. Food Rescue staff is developing an additional distribution system to allow us to deliver much more food; reaching beyond the 60,000 we now serve each year. The Free General Store is working on more ways to keep a consistent inventory, so we can distribute more and can properly serve all who look to us. Know any manufacturers or retailers who might like to be a part of this? WPI reports another homeless woman that they were able to support into a new well-paying job and her own apartment.

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Special Thanks!

Thank you to the following Funders: General Operating Support- Bank of America - $10,900, Kaiser - $5,000,  Lafayette Community  Foundation - $2,500, Raymond James - $1,200, Thomas J. Long Foundation - $150,000, Wells Fargo Foundation - $5,000; and  F&M Bank - $2,000 sponsorship for the June 25th Garden Party.
New Food Rescue Operations Leadership

There is a now a leadership team to lead Food Rescue . The team members are Jeff O’Hearn, Volunteer and Run Coordinator,  Diana Fitzgerald, Distribution Coordinator,  Patty Mitchell, FR Accounts Coordinator  and Isa Campbell FR Executive Coordinator. 


Jeff and his team (Barbara Reif, Everett Lein, Barbara Reif, Megan McCalister, Jerry Ulmer and the drivers - Sergei Schuster, Shawn Shirley, Yvonne Soy) are responsible for the new Volunteer Impact scheduling system, volunteer recruitment and training, as well as vehicle and run scheduling and upkeep. 


Diana will be responsible for FR Dispatching and Distribution as well as Facilities and her team will include 3 new part-time dispatchers covering our 7 day a week operation.  Leading the FR Distribution is Gary Scott with the help of Ann Knowles and the other volunteer distribution team members. 


Patty will handle Account and Partner coordination and will be working with all our new and existing Food Rescue Donors and Recipients as well as the Fund Development Committee. 


As FR Executive Coordinator Isa oversees the operation is and is the designated manager for employees.  

Welcome to Our New
Volunteer Coordinator
Megan worked first as a volunteer for WPE and am is now hired as the Volunteer Coordinator who will  recruit and track volunteers.  White Pony Express depends on volunteers  to meet its mission to end hunger in CCC so her role is key to our success. 
WPE IS Hiring!
Open positions we're currently hiring for:

  • Part-time Dispatchers
  • Administrative Assistants
  • FGS Distribution Coordinator
  • Fund Development Coordinator

If you're interested in any of these roles,
please contact Isa

June 25th GARDEN PARTY a Big Success!

June 25, 2017
Early this year a small group of WPE supporters formed Friends of White Pony Express as an informal group dedicated to cultivating resources for WPE and engaging and sharing with the broader community the programs of WPE. And so began the plans for a Garden Party to be held at the beautiful home of Katherine Dadachanji on Sunday June 25. The party was not to be a fund raiser but rather a friend raiser- to thank our current major supporters and to introduce the larger community about the important work WPE is doing to “end hunger and poverty in Contra Costa”.

The response was beyond expectations. More than 70 guests attended the event and enjoyed tasty hors d’oeuvres, drinks,  gelato, and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory while experiencing an interactive demonstration about key WPE programs, including the Free General Store and Mobile Boutiques, Food Rescue, Developmental Toys, and Cold Weather Clothing projects. 

The Garden Party ended with a brief program emceed by Mary Brooks. The program featured SF Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan who spoke and sang about the critical needs of homeless people, hostess Katherine Dadachanji, WPE Executive Coordinator Gary Conner, and Garden Party Chair Barbara Edwards. We are joyful that so many current supporters and new friends were able to join us.

Special thanks to the Friends of White Pony Express committee members: Barbara Edwards, Chair, Peter and Mary Brooks, Katherine Dadachanji, Rod Mickels, Judith Parker, and Sara Truebridge. 
And to the following Garden Party sponsors who made this event possible: F&M Bank, C&M Party Props, InVision , Barbara Edwards, and Calicraft Brewing Co.

We look forward to the Friends of WPE future activities. 

If you would like to learn more about Friends of WPE, contact Judith

Mary Brooks Finalist for Volunteer of the Year
Here is some great news about our event’s MC, Mary Brooks. Last year, Raymond James (Mary’s employer) nominated her for a national award as Volunteer of the Year given by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. Mary has just heard that she is one of three finalists for this award. Mary was nominated for her volunteer work with White Pony Express.

The Foundation amplifies the philanthropy of individuals and firms and awards funding to the charity they serve. So Mary’s being a finalist comes with a $5,000 donation to WPE! At the Gala Awards Ceremony held in New York on September 28, the winner will receive another $20,000 for their nonprofit. We wish Mary the best, and we all know she is already the winner in our hearts.

Free General Store Comes to Richmond Day Camps
on Saturday, August 5th

On Saturday August 5, the Free General Store will host a Mobile Boutique and Mobile Grocery for children attending two City of Richmond day camps and their families: the 9-week Achieve day camp, which is designed to “help curb summer learning loss in a fun and interactive environment" in collaboration with the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Elevate Day Camp, where campers enjoy fun activities—games, sports, and adventure trips—and learn about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle.

We are excited about hosting these children and their families and will need many volunteers to staff this special event. This will be a full Mobile Boutique, with free clothing and shoes for all ages, and children’s toys, books, and games, plus a free Mobile Grocery hosted by the WPE food rescue program. We expect to welcome over 600 guests!

Special thanks to the Richmond Recreational Complex for waiving their rental fee.

White Pony Express serving Veterans at Stand Down on the Delta Friday, August 11th at the Contra Costa Fairgrounds in Antioch

WPE has the wonderful opportunity to serve homeless and at-risk veterans and their families at the annual Stand Down on the Delta in Antioch.  This event is sponsored by Delta Veterans Group and will be held at the Contra Costa Fairgrounds in Antioch from August 11-14.  Medical, legal, employment, wellness, and many other services will be offered.  On Friday, August 11, White Pony Express will host the Clothing Tent, where we will give away clothing donated from many sources.  We expect 400 guests - - 340 men, 30 women, and 30 children. We will also be providing children’s books to add to their library.

This is a new and important partnership for the Free General Store, as we expand our services to serve more homeless people in our county.  We are still looking for volunteers. Please consider joining us for what will no doubt be a wonderful and profound experience.

Meet Our Volunteers
L-R Margie and Barbara loading their van.
Making a Difference While
Making Friends
There’s no doubt that WPE volunteers have a profound impact on the lives of those in need, but many also experience the joy of connecting with a kindred spirit.

Barbara Randall had just retired and was looking for a meaningful way to uplift her community. She soon discovered WPE, joining first as a sorter, then deciding she’d like to try her hand at delivery. By chance, Ms. Randall was paired with another recent retiree, Margie Goldware, and the two soon became close friends.it to start.  We have lived blessed lives and volunteering here would be a way to pass on those blessings."  
WPE has an urgent Need
for Volunteer Drivers and Helpers
WPE is working hard to end hunger in Contra Costa County and we need your help! Even a few hours of your time can make a positive change in someone's life.

Volunteer Drivers and Helpers are needed.

Sign up today for a:

  • Regular shift
  • On Call
  • or a Substitute

Contact Megan for more information and to volunteer today.
A Circle of Giving story

The Free General Store has had a chronic shortage of menswear and in particular of men’s dress shirts and suits. However, thanks to two dynamic, regular FGS volunteers, Cherie Lilly and Wendy Dorband, we were able to meet the targets for our upcoming boutique. And here’s why...

Cherie and Wendy are also long time volunteers at Wardrobe for Opportunity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping men and women reenter the labor force [from where?] with job-seeking skills and an opportunity to be outfitted with appropriate job interview clothes. Cherie and Wendy dress men and women for work.

When Cherie heard that we had a shortage of men’s wear, she shot into action. Apparently, the WFO had a surplus of menswear! Cherie loaded her trunk with men’s casual and dress shirts, as well as suits and slacks, courtesy of the WFO’s Concord location and delivered arms full of like-new men’s clothes to our Distribution Center.
During this same period of time, the FGS Distribution Center received a large, name-brand donation of new women’s and teens’ dresses, including party dresses perfect for a prom.  

A big thank you to Cherie and Wendy.

 And the story continues. The FGS made a sizable donation of these party dresses to the San Francisco-based Princess Project that provides prom dresses and accessories to young women who could not otherwise afford them. As it turns out, The Princess Project is organized by the daughter of another long time WFO volunteer and friend of Wendy and Cherie. These three ladies have long been active in their support of the Princess Project through their time and donations. All at the Princess Project were thrilled to receive the new prom dresses in just the right colors and sizes needed!

Rosalind Boukis is our WPE Social Media Queen

Facebook:  @whiteponyexpress

Instagram:  Whiteponyexpress

Twitter:       @WhitePonyEx

Linkedin:     White Pony Express

Imagine this...
Imagine this…there you are, sitting in your jammies, watching re-runs of Matlock with your trusted dog by your side and a bowl of popcorn on your lap,

Then it comes to you…”I could be helping White Pony Express right now!”

You pick up your iphone, log into Facebook and “LIKE” us!  And just like that…you’ve done a little something wonderful!


Your “Likes” make our posts pop up more frequently!  Your “likes” help more people to see our page and learn about what we do.

Your “likes” makes us a little more popular…and who doesn’t want to be a little more popular?


So like us.  Post about us.  Tag us.  Share us.  Invite your friends to like us.  We want to see 2017 followers in 2017 and we are almost there. 

You can do it…you can make this happen.  You can “Run with the ponies” right there in your living room…and you don’t even have to get out of your jammies!!


Like us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter too!!!



2nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Day
WPE 4th Birthday Celebration!

Mark your calendar for:

Sunday Oct. 1

Pleasant Hill Parks at 147 Gregory Lane
Noon to 4pm

Special Presentation at 1:30!

All come and join the fun!
• Family and Friends
• Recipient Agencies and Food Rescue Donors

Enjoy live Music and FUN games.

Well be serving the best:
• Barbecue Food
•wine • beer • soft drinks
and of course WPE 4th Birthday Dessert!

Final invitation will be emailed by August 14 with RSVP info.
For more information contact Judith
White Pony Express | 3380 Vincent Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94595