“There has always been a need to reach out and help. There have always been people who are struggling and in need of food and especially during these times, people who have normally been okay have found themselves in difficult situations. It was a blessing that the people in Pittsburgh have focused on what the needs in the city are and how we can meet them. We’re thankful for Convoy of Hope because that is their mission, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We’re just happy to be able to partner with them to feed families in need, the people who wouldn’t normally go to food banks or have those same connections can still go to these distributions and be fed through alternative ways. We are just happy to be able to help do that.” — Ashley Roethlisberger.

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

With the Pittsburgh region re-opened for the most part following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the perception among many is that things are returning to normal and those who lost their jobs during this tough time are back to work.

But, as we all know, perception is a far cry from reality.

While some things have come back, and some jobs that were lost have returned, there are many people still suffering financially due to the pandemic, with many jobs sadly never returning.

Families have suffered, individuals have suffered, and the region in general has suffered. And when there is suffering in the Pittsburgh area, the community steps up.

Ben Roethlisberger and his wife, Ashley, and Vance McDonald and his wife, Kendi, worked with the Steelers organization to spearhead a distribution through Convoy of Hope, a faith-based organization that’s main passion is to feed the world through ‘children’s feeding initiatives, community outreach and disaster response.’ The organization worked directly with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, who are distributing the items to agencies they work with throughout the region.

And the need is spread throughout the entire community. It’s not just one neighborhood or another where there is a need, it’s everywhere, from the city to the suburbs.

“It’s just humbling because some people may not want to ask for help, but you want to be sure and extend that hope and assistance to everybody, whether they are showing up at the food bank and asking for it or not. It’s scary times for everybody. The uncertainty and constant feeling of what is going to happen next, is it going to get better, are jobs going to come back. Convoy of Hope is extending that hope. We are not sure what tomorrow is going to be, but here is hope for this week, this month. There is still hope going on and God is still with us in the midst of this uncertainty.” — Kendi McDonald.

The Roethlisbergers and McDonalds were joined by other volunteers, including Steelers staff, to unload the Convoy of Hope delivery truck, and then pack the items for the United Way to pick up for distribution.

“We have always had a heart for helping people, but sometimes the hardest part is knowing how to help. Ben and I really want to help in practical ways. Sometimes it’s hard to identify practical ways to help. This has been eye-opening to tangible needs of the communities throughout Pittsburgh. Seeing the problems, attaching numbers to the problem, and being able to directly solve the problem and network and connect people to solve the problem is fulfilling to us, knowing we can work together to make a difference and improve the lives of people during this difficult time.

“It’s fun to serve in a group, have a common goal, common passion. The Steelers, led by the Rooneys, have been an incredible example of that. The wives have done a great job of reaching out and coming up with creative ways we can give back to the community. It’s fun to come together and do it as a group.” — Ashley Roethlisberger.

The plan now is to continue to work hand-in-hand with Convoy of Hope over the next few months. Donations are being planned for the New Castle and Latrobe areas, with more still to be added to the calendar.

You can read more from Ms. Varley here.