Volunteers are the heart and hands of the operation at Second Harvest of the Big Bend. Without their willingness to help in any way they can, we couldn’t do it without them! We know volunteering somewhere for the first time can be intimidating, so we’ve interviewed long-time volunteer Kate to share her experience.
The first thing Kate does is sign in and prepare for her shift, ensuring she has everything she needs to start the day. In her two years of volunteering, Kate usually spends her time sorting, produce-packing, and bread-boxing donated items alongside other volunteers that we can then distribute to our local partner agencies. She might even get the aux cord for the volunteer room if she’s lucky!
At the end of her shift, Kate cleans up her area, wiping down the tables and resetting the area for the next day’s work. After ensuring her station is sanitized, she walks out to say goodbye to everyone before leaving. When asked what her favorite part of her day was, Kate shared, “It’s the end of my volunteer shift because I get such a rewarding feeling having helped so many people!”
Kate’s right– there’s more to volunteering than just packing boxes. By volunteering, we give back to the community, lending a hand to our neighbors in need.
Kate shared that one of the most rewarding projects she’s worked on was “backpacking.” Once a month, Second Harvest of the Big Bend packs hundreds of bookbags full of vegetables, fruits, snacks, and easy-to-make meals for kids who depend on getting their food at school. These kids then get to bring the bags home for the weekend to ensure that they have nutritious food over the weekend. Through programs like this, our volunteers are truly making a difference in the lives of our community members.
Volunteering with Second Harvest offers opportunities for personal growth and development as well. Kate mentioned that she’s grown so much as a volunteer as it’s been a social outlet for her, teaching her how to work well with others. In one shift, you may be alongside people from different places, ages, and ways of life. This is why Kate’s main tip for someone looking to get involved is to not worry about showing up alone; in her own words, “Everyone is so welcoming, and you’ll make friends from all backgrounds and ages throughout your experience!”
Kate’s parting pro-tip: If you plan on joining for a packing session in the warehouse, wear comfortable closed-toe shoes since they are required in the packing areas.
Kate is only one of the many volunteers that have poured love and service into the lives of others. It’s still possible for you to join! All it takes is three easy steps:
- Create an Account
- Get approved on Volunteer Hub
- Reserve your spot on the calendar
- Show up & make a difference
Volunteering is a life-changing experience for yourself and for all the people you help provide for. Sign up to start making a difference today, tomorrow, and for a lifetime!