The way Cassandra Dryden sees it, everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, whether they’re seeking education, finding employment, raising children, or meeting any of life’s other challenges. Through her work as a pastor with Scripture Whisper Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that assists at-risk individuals and families, she’s able to extend that helping hand on a regular basis by leading the organization’s food collection and donation activities.
Cassandra’s desire to feed others goes back to her childhood, when her family attended summer luncheons at her Baptist church. On those hot summer days, each family in attendance would bring food to share others. “Some of the families didn’t have anything to bring, but they were fed . . . with mouth-watering food,” she reminisces. “There is no feeling like eating and sharing with others!”
A decade later, Cassandra – a former Deloitte consultant – had her first volunteer experience with the Capital Area Food Bank, conducting surveys and interviews with families in need as part of an initiative to seek feedback from clients. “During the survey interviews,” she said, “I learned that all persons, whether they are rich or poor, have words of wisdom and a great deal of insight.”
The experience stuck with her, and she continued to volunteer as part of the food bank’s nutrition initiatives. Today, Cassandra organizes food drives for the food bank throughout the year. When school rolls around, the organization raises money for food and school supplies for kids in the community. And every Thanksgiving, Scripture Whisper hosts a “Buy One Share One!” Thanksgiving Annual Turkey Drive for families in need, partnering with a local Safeway store so that for every turkey purchased, an extra turkey or non-perishable food item is donated to the food bank.
After years of taking action against hunger in one way or another, Cassandra is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. And she’s quick to note that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Cassandra’s organization, Scripture Whisper Ministries, conducting its annual Back-to-School drive