Volunteer Spotlight of the Month: Tom Parsons

August 6, 2013 By: Sara Blair Category: WordPress Import

One of the best things about our work at Second Harvest Heartland is the opportunity to connect with volunteers. Sharing our mission to end hunger with compassionate, committed volunteers each day deepens our own engagement with our work.

That’s why we were sad to hear the news that one of our most dedicated volunteers, Tom Parsons, passed away in July. Tom was an active volunteer—working alongside us every day, and we feel fortunate to have been part of his life.

Tom began volunteering with Second Harvest Heartland in February 2012 and was soon a daily fixture at our old California Street facility in Minneapolis. His enthusiasm and dedication made him our production staff’s right hand man, and he began to arrive early for shifts to assist staff in preparing for and leading the day’s volunteer groups.

In May 2012, Second Harvest Heartland moved into its new facility in Golden Valley. Tom was proud to say that he was the first volunteer to walk through the door at our new West location.

Wendy Salisbury, office coordinator at Second Harvest Heartland, remembers Tom “arriving at 8:10 every morning—come rain or shine. I always knew what time it was when he showed up. He was always in a good mood, no matter what was happening in his life. I knew the first smile of my day was Tom.”

Tom’s dedication to our mission came after struggling with unemployment and homelessness in his own life. He joined the Dignity Center in 2010 to stabilize his life after losing his long-term job in the economic downturn. Tom’s volunteer work with the Dignity Center included assisting in classes and sharing his story about losing his job and homelessness. This past Christmas, he received an award presented by the Dignity Center for Greatest Progress.

Tom will be greatly missed, but his legacy will continue as we serve in his memory. In total, Tom volunteered nearly 1,000 hours with Second Harvest Heartland. He would be happy to know that his dedication inspires us each day.


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