Posts Tagged ‘thank you’

The Value of One, the Power of Many

April 13, 2011

“Those are a lot of garbage bags,” Matt observed early Friday morning, “people are definitely doing a little spring cleaning.” The front of the warehouse, where we store incoming non-food donations, is piled with bagged clothing like stacks of potatoes during the Potato Blitz. We faced a dilemma. With so many donated clothes, we always struggle to distribute them quickly before more arrives. That’s when Wouda, one of our long-term volunteers piped up to say, “It’s great!  I’ve got something to really keep me busy now!”

Although we are primarily a food program, we also accept clothing and other household donations. In the same way that the food we receive must be sorted and repacked, so too must these non-food items be taken out of their bags and put on hangers to be displayed in the lobby. Over ten years ago, when Wouda brought a friend in to collect a hamper, she noticed that the clothing area could use some attention. She has been responding to that need ever since, dedicating her weekday mornings to this cause.

“I just love it. I love all of it,” Wouda giggled as she surveyed the bags of treasures. She explained to me that only a week ago, there were barely any items for the lobby. She kept busy that week working on potatoes instead, but was concerned by the lack of donations that normally fill our waiting area. “Now,” she said smiling, “the donation bin is overflowing!”

Wouda peeks out from behind a few of the garbage bags of clothing we received on Friday.

Things like this happen all the time. Just when we are beginning to wonder if we will run out of size four diapers, the Food Bank tells us they just received a shipment of them. Just when we are starting to frown at the size of our hampers, we receive an unexpected donation of food. The only way we are able to make use of this good fortune is through the power of our volunteers. Wouda isn’t the only one who has to process this mountain of clothing – she is assisted by the many other volunteers who keep this place bustling. (more…)


Let’s play a game!

April 12, 2011

Each day our program works with a big group of generous people who continually share their time to help out their local community.  They are an amazing group that includes people from different nationalities, experiences and generations.  Each one has their unique jokes and stories and something to teach us.

On a regular basis these volunteers are all working towards the same goal: helping people receive food assistance. However over the last few days I asked most of our volunteers to work towards another goal: playing a game to help me write this blog post! What was the game might you ask? Good question! The game was called “fill-in-the-blank”. I presented everyone with two phrases, and these are some of the answers I received: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Eric

April 10, 2011

Just as he finished packing one of many hampers from our initial rush when we open at eleven in the morning, I asked Eric if I could sit down with him in the break room to ask him a few questions. He’s been here since the beginning of November of last year to volunteer for about 35 hours but I’ve never really had a chance to have a conversation with him. So here are some of the many things I learned: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill

April 9, 2011

There’s an interesting story to how this interview started. When I went to give Bill a food list to pack I told him that if he could guess the surprise I had for him, he’d win a prize. And this is it! His prize was to sit down with me for a few minutes with me in the break room so I could ask him a few questions to share on the blog. However I phrased it more that I was going to make him famous, so here’s my best attempt to give him his fifteen minutes of fame:


Volunteer Spotlight: Alanna

April 8, 2011

Introducing Alanna! Many of us have yet to get a chance to get to know a lot about Alanna, as she’s only been volunteering since the beginning of March. Alanna was introduced to our program to complete some volunteer hours, which are part of completing her degree. Alanna is one of the many volunteers that our program will provide an opportunity placement for this year. During her placement here we’ve given her a brief orientation of House of Friendship in general and more specifics to our program, but she’s learning more and more each day. However I’m not here to talk about us, so let’s get to know this new volunteer: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Mike

April 8, 2011

Here is another one of our great team members: Mike. Mike has been on board with our program for the last two years and counting. In these two years he’s packed a lot of hampers and helped with odd jobs throughout the warehouse for a total of over 180 hours. I’ve enjoyed having a lot of interesting conversations with Mike over the last two years whether he’s working in the warehouse or taking a well-deserved break. But now I want to share a more formal conversation I had with him in a recent interview: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Tracey

April 7, 2011

Recently Tracey celebrated her six month anniversary of volunteering, since she started in October. Over these months Tracy has volunteered for more than 50 hours!

Today I found Tracey unloading a skid of cabbage and lettuce, which is a change of pace from her regular role as a hamper packer. However Tracey comes to us with a great enthusiasm to help people, and doesn’t mind doing whatever task we have to accomplish from our to-do list. So today I asked Tracey to take a break so I could ask her a few questions to share with all of our lovely blog readers: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Roy

April 6, 2011

Around here Roy is no stranger to our program, as he’s been volunteering since September of 2005. He’s often a quiet and hard-working volunteer, but today I got him to open up a little bit so we could boast about him a little bit. To start I can tell you that he’s provided us with over 625 hours of help during his time with us. And now onto more wonderful facts about this volunteer: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Inder

April 5, 2011

January is a busy time of the year for our program, but we’re never too busy to accept volunteers! Inder is just one example of this, as he began volunteering here around mid-January. Currently he’s volunteered for approximately 60 hours! And what’s even better is that he’s recruited some of his friends to also volunteer here. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to spotlight some of the people he’s brought here, but in the mean time let’s focus on him: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Zach

April 4, 2011

I’m here to share another fresh face in our volunteer pool: Zach. Zach began volunteering with us this year, in between searching for a job that will suit his interests after recently finishing his degree in Environment Engineering. Zach brings a lot of enthusiasm when he volunteers here by always being ready to pack a hamper, by lending a helping hand in the warehouse, or by getting to know other volunteers. So far it’s been great getting to casually chat with Zach in the break room, but today it’s his turn to shine in the spotlight. (more…)