When I got furloughed from my job, I realized I’d have a lot more time on my hands and wanted to give back to the community.
I began volunteering at the Center in the Senior Pride Pantry where I am putting together packages of food and supplies and delivering them to senior clients.
Food scarcity is increasing during the pandemic, and the needs of our seniors has grown. It is very moving to me to see the gratitude on the recipients’ faces—through a mask, of course—and hearing them say that I’ve made their day. Getting those bags of groceries is exciting because they never know what extra goodies they will get. One woman told me she shares the food she doesn’t eat with her neighbors.
Doing the deliveries entails visiting areas of the city that I don’t normally see—it can be enlightening. It hasn’t always been easy, either. When we have extreme heat, poor air quality due to fires, and streets closed due to protests, it makes the job more challenging but all the more gratifying.
Volunteering at the Center has given me a purpose outside of myself and gives me hope that the Center will be there for me if I ever need it.
Donating one’s time is a great way to connect with others while doing something for the greater community. I’m learning about what really matters in life and how a little effort can go a long way.
Hometown: Olney, Maryland
Year Started Volunteering at Center: 2019
Volunteer Positions: Senior Pantry: Delivery Driver & Food Assembly