For the past couple of months, I’ve been spending every Monday volunteering at our local foodbank. I started looking to volunteer because I’ve been feeling pretty lucky lately and I feel like I need to give back. That’s kind of a hokey thing to say isn’t it. What does it even mean?
Volunteering at the foodbank isn’t always been easy — but it is amazing, for a few reasons.
1.) I’m learning just how much “charity” will get you. When you hear someone rant about people who milk the system and other crap, it might be easy to agree with them, whether it’s because you agree or because you just want them to shut up. But honestly, the food our clients are getting isn’t so great. There’s a whole lot of pasta and no fresh vegetables. Frozen and canned yes, but fresh, no.
2.) People who need charity are usually very thankful. One lady so obviously got dressed up to come, you could tell it she didn’t feel great being there and she didn’t want the staff to think she was a bum. It was just a little thing but it really made me remember that the orders I’m putting together are for real families who are only there because they have to be.
3.) A lot of kids don’t get enough to eat. When we get an order for a family with four kids it breaks my heart. We have little packs made up for those kids containing special things to take in their lunches. My kids rant about what I’m sending in their snack but, you know, at least they get a snack.
4.) It feels good. One of the things I’m most surprised about is how good I feel when I leave. I wish I could go back tomorrow and do more. But, of course I can’t. I have to work and pay bills and all the rest.
5.) I love getting to know older people. At 36, I am by far the youngest in the crew. The second youngest is 51. Everyone else is well into their 60s and one delightful lovely is 86. She bakes everyone cookies and calls me Sabrina. And I answer to it, because hey, who doesn’t wish their name was Sabrina. Also, they always compliment me!
6.) It ain’t easy. Right now I’m having a tough time squeezing my volunteering in. It’s just 4 hours a week and it’s hard to dedicate my precious babysitter time to doing something other than working. But, I kind of enjoy the challenge.
Do you volunteer? How do you make time? Any tips?