[Archived from October 23, 2009]
Sometimes being in the right place at the right time helps to make a plan come together.
On Rosh Hashanah, while Arnie Levin attended worship services at Keneseth Israel as a guest of his friends, Alec and Carole Spielberg, Dara Cohen, a Jewish Family and Career Services Food Pantry Committee volunteer made an appeal from the pulpit for food donations.
The JFCS Food Pantry and the people it feeds is a passion for Dara – and something about her speech touched and resonated with Levin. He knew he wanted to do something to help, and the plan started forming in his mind.
During the summer of 2008, Levin was asked to do a favor for a friend – to meet a young woman who was planning her wedding for July 2009. Levin wasn’t planning to take on any other events for July 2009, but as a favor to his friend, he agreed to meet her. Her story was clearly out of the ordinary – and Mr. Levin decided he would assist the family with the upcoming nuptials.
Kelly Morgan was 12 when she met her future husband, Tim Maciejak, age 13, standing outside of Aunt Leah’s Fudge Shop on Nantucket Island in 1994. He was with his two best friends and they playfully tossed Tim’s number to Kelly and then quickly departed.
Kelly called him, and thus began a very close friendship. They corresponded often for years, had huge long distance phone bills that often got them into trouble with their parents, and saw each other every year or so. After college, in 2006, they got together for dinner in New York, and well, the rest is history.
Fast forward to 2009, and a wedding is being planned and Mr. Levin has agreed to help coordinate the much-anticipated weekend. Kelly now works for her family business, Morgan Foods, and Tim teaches at St. Xavier High School. A strong friendship blooms between the bride, her parents, John and Sarah Morgan, and Levin – well beyond the relationship between an event planner and a bride and her family.
Then tragically, a few months before the wedding, the mother of the bride, Sarah Morgan passes away. The wedding is held as planned, and despite an overshadowing of grief, the weekend was a tremendous and lovely success.
By September 2009, Kelly Morgan Maciejak is the director of special projects at Morgan Foods, which manufactures private-label canned goods in Austin, IN. In fact, Morgan Foods is one of this nation’s largest soup manufacturers and has a history of donating food to worthwhile charities. Its history dates back to 1899, and Maciejak is the fifth generation of the Morgan family to help to lead this remarkable and caring company.
On Rosh Hashanah, Levin made the connection, and immediately after the holiday, he contacted Maciejak. Last week, JFCS received 1,300 cans of assorted soups from Morgan Foods to add to the JFCS Food Pantry.
“This is, by far, the largest and most generous donation of food ever donated to our Food Pantry”, stated Judy F. Tiell, Executive Director of JFCS. “We are very touched by the generosity of Kelly Morgan Maciejak and her father, John Morgan, and we are grateful for the insight of Arnie Levin to have made this connection and then made this donation possible on behalf of the clients we serve.”
“This extraordinary gift will certainly be put to good use, especially as we enter the winter months. There is something very special about eating a warm bowl of soup when it’s cold outside”, stated Janet Meyer, Chair of the JFCS Food Pantry Committee, “and we thank the Morgan family for their kindness.”