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Vegas Stronger Champion: Danner family organizes food pantry, feeds hundreds for holidays

Julie Danner and her helpers are rushing to feed families who have been struggling amid the pandemic.
Julie Danner and her helpers are rushing to feed families who have been struggling amid the pandemic.
Julie Danner and her helpers are rushing to feed families who have been struggling amid the pandemic.
Julie Danner and her helpers are rushing to feed families who have been struggling amid the pandemic.
Posted at 5:02 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 09:25:16-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Julie Danner's door is always open.

"It doesn't matter what their need is, we just fill it," Danner said. "We don't ask questions, we just fill it. If we can."

In COVID-19 times, that door is often a virtual one. In this case, it is the Facebook group Danner started called “Las Vegas/Henderson Coronavirus Community Rescue & Barter.”

It's a mouthful and the mission includes feeding hungry mouths.

Last week, the Danners boxed more than 10,000 lbs of Thanksgiving food that fed more than 800 people.

"I think it gives us some purpose. I think it gives something to be proud of and something to be happy about. And something to at the end of the day say, 'I did my best today' and lay our head down and get up the next day and do it all over again," Julie said.

The Danners are small business owners, but this work is entirely grassroots.

They don't receive big donations from major corporations, but smaller ones from other locals who are also trying to help.

They say the need has only grown during this pandemic and they have tried to keep up, enlisting the help of volunteers to make deliveries.

"We're over here going, 'well, we have a route of five families, we built the boxes, just load it in your car and go.' And you know, that's probably the most exciting thing is to see those people that are getting involved in their communities and those people that are reaching out and talking to their neighbors and finding people that are homebound that need help that may not have known how to ask for it," said Jim, Julie's husband.

The Danner's goal for Christmas is even more ambitious. They hope to feed between 250 and 300 families, more than 1,000 people, and give out two to 3,000 toys to kids of all ages, from infants to teenagers. The Danners don't get paid for their work but they say their minds are focused and their hearts are full. So they will continue.

That's why they're our Vegas Stronger Champions.

"We get a lot of love back," said Julie. "That's what we get. And that's really worth more than all the money in the world if you think about it."

If you want to help support the Danner's work, reach out on their Facebook page.

Vegas Stronger Champion is sponsored by Findlay Automotive.