With so many people in the region still struggling with some of the basic necessities, the Steelers and Shell Polymers once again partnered with Convoy of Hope for a distribution of food and necessities for those in the Beaver County region.
On Saturday, the organizations worked as one to serve 1,200 free meals and distribute a truckload of items that include food, sports drinks, hygiene kits and other supplies from Convoy of Hope at the Community College of Beaver County.
"Shell Polymers is proud to partner with the Steelers in this endeavor to help our neighbors in need during this challenging time," said Bill Watson, the general manager of Shell Polymers. "We thank the Community College of Beaver County for hosting the event, and we thank Convoy of Hope for bringing their philanthropic program and a truckload of food and supplies to Beaver County."
Steelers' legends Charlie Batch and Will Allen were on hand to help with the no-contact distribution, understanding that the need is still so strong as they have dealt with it through their own foundations as well.
"When the pandemic started, we teamed up with a number of organizations to help distribute food because we didn't know how long we were going to be in it," said Batch of his Best of the Batch Foundation. "Now you fast forward, and here we are 19 months later, and we're still talking about some of these issues that are happening. People that aren't necessarily going through it, don't necessarily relate. There are families out here that had to sacrifice because the economy isn't where it once was. People are struggling because everybody has taken a hit financially. So, now they kind of skimp on certain things that they would get, and food is included. It's challenging.
"People want to help, but also people are embarrassed to a certain degree because they don't want to ask for help. You have organizations like these that are willing to help with no questions asked. You just come and get your food and supplies. Whatever I could do to always try and help, I've done that and am willing to keep doing it.
"The Steelers have been doing this for years. I've seen it day in and day out of all my years being here. You have to applaud the Rooney family for being supportive and wanting to be out there in the community. It's one thing to talk about it, but they are actually out there in the community doing it."
The turnout was a definite indication that the need is still strong, something that is tough to see, but encouraging that people are out there helping.
"I think it's always important to help," said Allen. "There is always going to be a need. It's always great. Those who have should be willing to help and support others. Having the mindset to do so, and being willing to give your time, energy and resources, it helps the world be better. It can help people get ahead and know there are people who care about them.
"It's humbling to be able to do this. I am just there to support and help pass things out. There are other volunteers and capital resources that go into purchasing healthy food. A healthy person goes a long way. The more we can do this, the healthier and more sustainable our community can be. It's humbling I can be a part of the process."
Convoy of Hope, whom the Steeles have worked with the last few years, has distributed more than 200 million meals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching communities across the country.
"This is a united act of compassion, where groups and businesses are more concerned about helping people than they are receiving credit or making an extra buck," said Hal Donaldson, the president of Convoy of Hope. "We're seeing compassion in action on a large scale."