Things have gone well, so far — the Pantry is in strong shape thanks to Keeney’s previous leadership (“The systems in place are working wonderfully,” said Russell. “He’s built a wonderful staff. He really brought the pantry a long way in the short time he’s been here”) and there are currently enough funds to help pay for the current allotment of holiday food baskets.
But it’s an ongoing struggle for funds, and year-round giving is needed, not just at the holiday season, as God’s Food Pantry operates around the calendar. And that’s where Russell’s unique talents should come in as a godsend.
“I have a servant’s heart,” she said. “This was a perfect fit for my personality and skills.”
Mike Hornback, vice president of God’s Food Pantry, praised the selection of Russell as executive director.
“On behalf of the board, we are pleased to welcome Brenda and look forward to the continued stewardship that is provided to our community from our community,” he said. “Brenda brings a vast knowledge and desire to help lead God’s Food Pantry forward.
“The board is extremely grateful for Jack (Keeney’s) leadership,” he continued. “Jack has helped the Pantry grow and become more efficient. We will miss his talent, wisdom and working friendship.”
Russell said her first reaction on the job has been a “heart full of gratitude” for the people of Pulaski County, and hopes that can continue as a part of her life for a long time to come.
“I expect that as long as the Pantry is blessing me and I’m blessing the Pantry, I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me,” she said.