Committed to Kicking Hunger
People volunteer for different reasons. Some are motivated by the camaraderie they experience being part of a volunteer group. Others are inspired by an organization’s mission and the positive changes they create in their community. Still others are called by their faith to help their neighbors. Often, it’s a combination of factors that inspire volunteers. Some of these factors are deeply personal—such as the woman who volunteers at the food shelf that she once relied on to feed her children. But while people’s motivations may differ, there is one tie that binds all Second Harvest Heartland volunteers together: their commitment. Our volunteers are extremely driven to keep coming back and making a difference in the lives of our neighbors.
We see this drive daily in the groups and individuals who sort and pack food at our Maplewood and Brooklyn Park facilities. We see it in the volunteers who help distribute fresh produce at distribution sites throughout the Twin Cities. And we see it in the volunteers who keep coming back, year after year, to walk, to sell raffle tickets, to answer donor phone calls and work at informational kiosks to help make our events successful.
Cathy Noblet has volunteered to answer phones at the annual Let’s Kick Hunger Radiothon— now in its 10th year and coming up on January 17, beginning at 6 a.m.— for the past five years. Over the past 9 years, the radiothon has raised more than $2 million toward hunger relief in our community.
“I first started volunteering with my daughter” Noblet said. “We packed food at one of your facilities. We did it as a family and it was so overwhelming the amount of people that were there and what we were able to accomplish.”
Noblet says she finds it fulfilling to help others, but it’s also somewhat of a personal mission for her.
“It hits home with my daughters,” she said. “One is trying to finish her master’s degree and is living below the poverty line. My other daughter is a special needs person and struggles to pay rent. I do my part to help both, but it isn’t always enough. I volunteer to help where and when I can to help make a difference.”
Brad Mathiowetz volunteers at multiple Second Harvest Heartland events including Stamp Out Hunger, Walk to End Hunger, Get in Gear and Let’s Kick Hunger Day.
Brad is motivated by his desire to give back to his community, but confesses it benefits him as well.
“There is the added bonus of the positive feeling I typically get after I’ve helped,” he said. “If you’re lucky enough to feel that then you may just have found yourself a ‘hobby’ for life.”
This will be Nick VanderVegte’s fourth year answering donor phone calls at the Let’s Kick Hunger Day fundraising event. While he’s never struggled with hunger himself, he realizes that it could just as easily be him needing help.
“It would help if we all realized that if circumstances were a little different in our lives, we too might need assistance. Any contribution we can make to others helps make the world better.”
At Second Harvest Heartland, we are fueled by the generosity, commitment and passion our community members put toward helping neighbors experiencing hunger. Without volunteers like Cathy, Brad and Nick, fundraisers like the Let’s Kick Hunger Day Radiothon wouldn’t be possible. Be sure to tune into 830 AM on January 17, starting at 6 a.m., and if you’re able, please consider giving. Your donation can help provide meals to the 1 in 11 Minnesotans at risk of missing a meal on any given day.
Looking for volunteer opportunities? While we have ample volunteers for Let’s Kick Hunger Day, we need more volunteers to sort and pack food at our Brooklyn Park facility than ever. You can help by signing up for a shift (or two) HERE.