NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Cheryl Plumlee serves on the board for the local chapter of the Young Men’s Service League, a non-profit where moms and their teenage sons volunteer together.

“We had to work from home, writing the cards out for the bags and boxes, just nice encouraging messages to pantry clients,” Plumlee said.

She says the pandemic presented a great need to help get people fed, so as part of the organization’s annual philanthropy event, they decided to help second street pantry missions.

“We collected a value of probably $14,000 worth of food and filled an entire auditorium which we didn’t plan to collect that much,” Plumlee said.

In total, the group of moms and sons put in about 600 hours, organizing hundreds and hundreds of bags of food for families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“It was a spirit-lifting project for us to do,” Plumlee said. “We helped the community, we helped the Second Street Pantry volunteers – kind of gave them a little bit of break.”

Members of the Second Street Pantry missions say the food collected by the group was even enough to provide boxes for weeks after the event.

“Never has anybody impacted the pantry like this group has,” Sandra Hutchens said. “It’s been humongous.”

“We appreciate the organization but we appreciate [Cheryl] because [Cheryl] made it happen,” Barb Laubenstein said. “That’s what makes [Cheryl] a remarkable woman of the year.”

Plumlee says she can’t take the credit for the success of the event because she says giving back to a community is truly a team effort.

“I think it was good for the boys especially during this time where everything is so uncertain and you know everyone feels a little helpless,” Plumlee said. “For us to be able to get in there and really end the year on a high note, I think it was a big deal for everyone.”