ABC Award to Shirley and Gary Haupert

Hallmark project was relocation of ARC food pantry to newer, larger facility

Shirley and Gary Haupert were presented with the Above and Beyond the Call (ABC) Award for their leadership and untold hours of volunteer work at the Action Resource Center (food pantry) at the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting Thursday evening.

Shirley and Gary Haupert immediately after receiving the ABC Award from Chris Deal (right) and his wife Tracy.

The award was presented by Tracy and Chris Deal, recipients of the award last year.
The Deals noted that nomination letters spoke of the Hauperts’ compassion, humility, determination, Christian love, their way of leading by example, and their tirelessness.

Before the award portion of the program, the Hauperts had given an update on the ARC, telling briefly of the purchase of the former Clark Plumbing & Heating building late in 2018, the renovation, and moving into the new location. According to Shirley Haupert, 1,132 families were served in 2018. That number grew to 1,297 in 2019. She spoke of the amount of food distributed each month and where it comes from, and she told the 60 or so people at the dinner how they can help.

Tracy Deal said the Hauperts had “identified a shortcoming in a community resource and crafted a solution.” They then “worked relentlessly to make it happen.”

Nomination letters created a list of the Hauperts’ efforts, including five or six trips to local grocery stores each week for the ARC; trips to Des Moines for supplies; dedicated, skilled volunteering for Habitat for Humanity; incredible devotion to their church (First United Methodist) and the impact the church has, through leadership roles in ongoing mission outreach, organizing fundraisers, establishing and maintaining the Memory Garden, and biannual mission trips over the last 20 years.

After the award was presented, Chris Deal said, “their efforts have made Greene County a far better place for all citizens. Their hallmark project…. was the move of the Greene County Action Resource Center to its new location… It was an incredible endeavor…. They are truly wonderful people who are leading this community and doing incredible work for all of us here.

Pastor Julie Poulsen of First United Methodist is the chair of the ARC. She spoke of the Hauperts following God’s call to care for the poor among us. “Thanks to their faithful response to the vision and their base skills, our county can now address the needs of our neighbors more effectively, involving many volunteers, churches, groups and organizations to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and to care for and encourage many, many people,” Pastor Julie said.

Jim North also spoke, explaining that after the Hauperts were chosen to receive the award the Chamber had to move its annual meeting from January to February, as the Hauperts planned to be in Florida when the award was to be presented. He said over the years he has witnessed many instances of the Hauperts’ “dedication to helping people of this community. The combination of their compassion for helping others, their skills, and their leadership have benefitted so many people.”

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