National Volunteer Week celebrates the impact of volunteer service at Philabundance and spotlights some of our most dedicated volunteers over the last year.
1. Please tell us about your role as a volunteer with Philabundance. What do you do?
I started after COVID. I have been working in the warehouse, mostly building senior boxes and I love that! It’s great teamwork and you meet so many great people. For a while, there was a whole crew of us working on Tuesday afternoons that would meet up and it was really nice community. You could really see that you were making a difference. I walked out feeling good and like I contributed. I always feel like I get more than I give, and I’m sure that’s what most volunteers would say. I also have helped out at the Feed Our Food Workers distribution and I’ve been to Kitchen of Love a few times. Kitchen of Love is really great. There’s one woman who is the head of that grassroots effort and she is amazing. Talk about dedication! Honestly, it’s really inspiring.
2. Why do you choose to volunteer with Philabundance?
I think in the beginning it was because I wanted to do something to help with COVID and the increased needs. I’ve volunteered at different places but never really found something that felt like the right fit. I think Philabundance does so much for the community and there are so many different opportunities that no matter what you want to do there’s an opportunity for either your skillset or your timeframe. Whether it’s packing boxes or handing out food directly to people, you see the impact. I think all of Philadelphia feels the impact of everything Philabundance is doing, and it’s great to be a tiny cog in that big wheel.
3. What’s your favorite memory from your time volunteering at Philabundance?
Honestly, it’s the relationships. It’s the people that you’re meeting that work at the warehouse and the other volunteers; creating that sense of community. And that’s really what I think Philabundance is all about. Over at Kitchen of Love, it’s these volunteers who have been doing this for over a decade, three times a week. That is amazing selflessness and again, to just be a tiny part of that is pretty inspiring.
4. What do you think other people interested in volunteering at Philabundance should know about our programs?
That there are so many options. Every single day there’s at least 10 different options of what you can do. Again, I don’t necessarily have a particular skillset, but I can pack a box, or I can hand out food or set up tables. You can find something that works for you and is an asset to Philabundance. I like that it still feels very small and grassroots even though it’s not. It’s this big organization that has still maintained that small feel, which is what I like. It feels very personal.
5. Philabundance’s mission is to relieve hunger now and end hunger for good. How do you think we, as a community, can end hunger?
I really think we all need to look outside ourselves a little bit more and not always be so inward focused. If we’re always looking at our neighbors’ needs along with ourselves, then I think we can do it together. I think it’s keeping our heads up, looking at our neighbors and our community and seeing what you can do. Even if you can’t donate money, time is also important. I think no matter how busy you are, you can probably give a little bit of time.
6. Any other thoughts you’d like to share on hunger, volunteering, Philabundance?
It’s an organization I’m really proud to be part of. The volunteers not only make a difference with their time, but also in the PR efforts. For instance, it’s me telling my friends about it, who maybe will then be inspired to donate their time or their money. It is a grassroots effort which I love. It’s a big organization but it feels really small, which is nice. I think it’s something that everyone can be proud of. It’s a great organization and I’m very proud of it to be part of it and it’s something I want to continue doing.