Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.
“The lady that likes me is here today!”
Biz recognized the car in the parking lot. He was referring to one of the volunteers we had come to know through the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. We volunteered regularly last school year to help pack bags with food so that kids in our area would have enough nourishment during the weekends.
The woman he was referring to laughed at his jokes and treated him just like any other volunteer, though (at 5 years old) he was often the youngest there.
I had originally started volunteering to fulfill my own desire to help out locally. It was on the suggestion of my then-husband that I signed up. Little did I know that I would start taking my boys with me by necessity when my husband was no longer living with us and that we would find solace in an assembly line with other caring people on those Tuesday evenings.
Last school year we were close enough to walk to the MCHPP’s office to volunteer. This year, we are just far enough away to have to drive.
I pulled in and felt at home. I recognized cars and people. The place was bustling with activity. A local reporter with a camera observed and asked questions as we prepared for our assembly line to fill bags with food for local school kids.
It was like summer vacation never happened. G, who is always a hard worker, didn’t skip a beat. He asked Jamie, our fearless leader, where he wanted him and went to work. I am confident that if Jamie were late and the room were filled with first-time volunteers, G would be able to organize everyone so that we could fill the more than 200 bags in record time. (We did it in less than one hour once.)
Volunteering can feel like a burden sometimes. We have busy lives. Time is precious. But when you find a good fit, where you can work alongside good souls and feel fulfilled from the work you are doing, it’s truly magical. My boys look forward to our volunteering time, and they understand we are doing it to help their peers.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Read more about the backpack program I volunteer for with my boys: Backpacks bridge the gap: Brunswick-based program eases students’ weekend hunger (via The Forecaster).