Tom Stanken is actively involved with 7 different organizations, all on a weekly basis. His main devotion is helping needy adults and children. A big part of each day of his life is focused on meeting the needs of people who are less fortunate. After church, he stops by bakeries to pick up their day-old breads and baked goods to distribute to 3 pantries that serve the homeless. Anywhere he can find food, clothing, or toys, Stanken will be there. When he was working full time at Madison Office Supply in Covington, KY, people on the street got word that Stanken would try to help them. For 20 years, he has supplied food and clothing to people who were destitute and sought him out, even at work. He always takes time to find a way to help.
Every week, Stanken delivers food, clothing and/or cleaning supplies to the Church of God Hamilton Ohio Food Bank and to the Children’s Home in Barbersberg, KY, where he has been a board member for 8 years. Every month, he travels to Hope Emergency center in Fayetteville, OH to deliver food he has secured for their food bank. He contacted the Disney stores on behalf of the Mental Health Association of Northern KY for toys and clothes that were discontinued, marked down or damaged. He made an agreement to buy large skids and picks these items up 3 times a month. After repairing the many toys, buying lots of batteries for them, sewing the rips, cleaning, sorting and grading for appropriate ages, he brings the toys to teachers for children who have made an effort or have improved. As a result, the teachers have told him reading has greatly improved for some children, and sometimes it is the nicest gift these children have ever received. Stanken also delivers some of the toys to children and young adults who go to Hoxworth Blood Center to have special transfusions, in order to help ease some of the anxiety and fear they experience.
Additionally, Stanken has been in charge of hosting a Christmas Day dinner and celebration for 13 years for the needy and homeless. This is the largest event in the Tri-state that is held on Christmas Day. The day before Christmas, Stanken arranges to deploy men from Transitions, a halfway house for first time offenders in Covington. They help him set up the dinner and gifts for Christmas Day. He chooses this place purposely, knowing this experience will help these men and give them an opportunity to partake in a holiday event. Stanken works on this dinner almost all year round, including Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day. Because of his leadership in this large event, everything works like clockwork and many people have a Christmas they wouldn’t have had if it were not for his efforts. In 1999, he was awarded the “Individual Award” from the State of Kentucky presented by the Lieutenant Governor for this Christmas Day event.
Over the course of one week, Stanken drives approximately 500 miles with his deliveries in Ohio and Kentucky. Besides working at a job 20 hours a week, he averages 35 hours a week doing volunteer work.