Why give time to hunger relief when there are so many worthy causes?
After retiring from teaching, Mary was looking for a new way to give back.
After working with a volunteer coordinator at Second Harvest Heartland, Mary determined her skillset could best be used as a Hunger 101 simulation facilitator and delivering commodity food boxes to several homebound seniors.
Six years later, Mary continues to give about 16-18 hours of her time per month.
Facilitating Hunger 101 has married Mary’s love for teaching and drive to help her neighbors. “I love working with students,” Mary said. “They’re so engaged and full of questions. I enjoy so much their eagerness and excitement to make a difference.”
There are many worthy causes in the world where Mary could spend her time. She donates regularly to nonprofit organizations that are doing important work. But with all the ways to make the world a better place, at the heart of her generosity is the issue of hunger.
“This is something I can do where I’m witnessing change,” Mary said. “Other issues are more abstract. Hunger is in the real.”
Mary especially sees the change in her deliveries to seniors. Every month, she delivers groceries from Second Harvest Heartland to nine seniors who normally would have a very difficult time accessing food. “You get to know them, and they’re dear. People are living on Social Security alone. [With] deliveries you have to be positive to give good experiences to people in need. It’s hard for them to accept help.”
Other than staying busy by helping end hunger in the heartland, Mary enjoys reading, exercise and spending time with her grandchildren. “I’m warding off the evils of old age, trying to stay healthy and sharp,” Mary said.
One of the best ways to do that is to give back as long as she can. “I do this because I believe in Second Harvest Heartland. When you volunteer, this is the place to come.”
In the middle of winter, Second Harvest Heartland sees a decline in volunteers even though the help is needed all year long. By signing up for a volunteer shift, you can help make our work possible when our neighbors need it most.
Thank you Mary for your dedicated service!