– These are people who go above and beyond in their communities to make a difference. Meet Sharon y’all. (mellow electronic music) For nearly four decades, Sharon Straus has been the face of the Sunshine Pantry in Beaverton, Oregon. There, she provides food for the homeless, the unemployed and those struggling just to get by. The Sunshine Pantry turns no one away, and no questions are ever asked. Sharon’s selfless devotion to lift up those in need always comes with a warm smile. It is her life’s work and her passion. But sadly, after 38 years, the Sunshine Pantry recently closed its doors due to a lack of funding. Sharon is desperate for the pantry to reopen because she, more than anyone, understands how important it is to this community. (audience cheers and applauds) Please welcome the founder of the Sunshine Pantry, Sharon Straus, y’all. So the Pantry, it’s closed, right? It’s remained closed right now? – Right now, yeah. – Gosh well, before we get there, like how did it start? – About 40 years ago, my sons were in Cub Scouts. We decided to do a needy family project. I went to give the food out to the families. We did turkeys and hams and getting ready for the holidays. When that happened, I turned around and looked. The refrigerator was totally empty. It left such an impact in me that I thought, I gotta do something. This is not right. And so, I started feeding families, getting lists from people that knew other people that were having a problem. That’s how we did it. – Who does the pantry serve? – I serve everybody. They are always welcome. (audience cheers and applauds) I welcome them with open arms. – You serve people in need. – Yeah, a lot of times, they’ll ask me how they could qualify. And I said, “You already did that.” They go, “What do you mean?” I says, “You walked through my door.” (audience sighs) That’s the hardest thing is to walk through the door. – And ask for help. – That’s right. And so, when they come to us, we make it as easy as possible. – One of my favorite things, I will say that I read about the Sunshine Pantry and what you do. It’s very Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You always have a little candy bars for kids. – Yes, yes. – I know that sounds so silly, but like, when you’re a kid and you’re. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. That’s a lot, man. You’re like, you see all these kids at school with like, money for the vending machine or money, doin’ this. And you’re like, oh. And I’m like, searchin’ through cushions. (audience chuckles) I’m like, I gotta get that M&M package. – (chuckles) – So that’s so cool. So you do stuff like that for the kids, too. – Right. – So cool. – And it’s– – It’s something little they depend on, and it works out. – Yeah. – ‘Cause you know, a lotta kids, that’s the thing. You just gotta be there. There’s gotta be just constant, you know, just consistency. – That’s right. – And I think that, yeah. – One time, a gentleman walked into my pantry. He said that 20 years ago, he walked down to my house when he was a child, and I gave him a Three Musketeers bar. He remembered that. He hid it under his bed and cut it up in little pieces, so it would last. – That’s so cool. – So that was really exciting. – So see all these people you’re touching. So what happened? Why did it recently close? – Oh well, the landlord was doing an excellent business. He needed the whole building back. – Oh man. – So we’re workin’, trying to find a place that will be– – You want; you’re planning on reopening. – Oh absolutely, I’m lost without it. (audience applauds) – Yes, not only your loss, but I bet a lotta people will go in need. – Oh, it’s horrible. My phone doesn’t stop ringing. Are you open yet? I can hardly wait to say, “Yes, I’m open!” – Yeah. – I wanna be there. – Amen, yes. – So we need to be there.