At least 12.5% of Western Massachusetts residents are living below the poverty line, and that number is growing.
April is National Volunteer Month — a time that we celebrate the people who generously donate their time and talents to support their community. The month also encompasses National Volunteer Week (beginning on April 6), which is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.
Throughout the month, our dedicated volunteers will be sharing their experience with volunteering and reflect on how it has impacted their own lives.
Catherine White, of Southampton, has been volunteering at The Food Bank since 2009. Because she works full-time during the day, she helps with many of our special events that take place on nights or weekends, including our biennial Gala and our annual Will Bike 4 Food event. She also assisted our staff with conducting interviews for the Hunger Study survey in 2009 and 2013.
I began volunteering at The Food Bank because I wanted to get involved in my community in a meaningful way. The Food Bank helps people in so many different ways through diverse activities. I knew that there would be many exciting opportunities to participate.
Throughout my time at The Food Bank, I have gained an even greater appreciation for just how important they are. It is a joy to be a part of it. The people that I have worked with are dynamic and driven and I always enjoy the volunteering experience. I think that the most enjoyable part is the satisfaction I get from being around people who are working for something greater than themselves.
It has also allowed me to learn a great deal about the community that I live in. I have become more aware of food insecurity and the many factors involved with it. I feel that I have gained a great deal of understanding that I try to apply to all aspects of my life.
Overall, volunteering is a rewarding and enriching experience. There are so many different opportunities that everyone can find ways to use what they know and are willing to do to positively contribute to their community. There are opportunities to fit any schedule and it is well worth it!Comments Off
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