Resolve to volunteer in 2015

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black backgroundBy Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It’s that time of year when most of us start to think about what worked for us in the past year and what we can do better next year. Call the process making New Year’s resolutions, if you want, but even people who don’t make formal resolutions usually take time to pause and perhaps regroup.

Traditional resolutions often include plans to lose weight, save money or exercise more frequently. Those are all worthwhile intentions, but they often fall by the wayside before Feb. 1 rolls around. Not being successful in meeting new goals becomes a source of personal frustration, even a sense of failure.

While being introspective and writing out goals for 2015, and perhaps beyond, think about making time and a commitment to volunteer. Dedicated volunteers, those who make giving back a part of their lives, swear that by helping others they receive far more than they give. Volunteers will say that lending a hand is so rewarding in ways they never could have imagined.

The Food Bank of Delaware offers volunteer opportunities year ‘round in Newark and in Milford, and signing up is easy. Just visit http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com and using the pull-down menu, pick time, date and shift you’d like to work.

Volunteers can be flexible and need not commit to a regular weekly or monthly spot; you can sign up for shifts that suit your schedule.

What do volunteers help us do? There are many tasks required to help feed hungry Delawareans. Many.

Most people are unaware of what the Food Bank does. Our mission is to eradicate hunger in Delaware, but right now our network of more than 550 hunger-relief program partners serve more than 916,000 visitors each year statewide.

The Food Bank provides food to food closets in schools, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, day care centers, children’s nutrition sites and other non-profits.

So those food products have to be sorted, packed, boxed and even placed in backpacks for direct distribution. For example, if a business conducts a holiday food drive and brings the collection to one of our warehouses, that food must be weighed, sorted and shelved before it goes out to a food pantry.

That’s just one example of an opportunity because the food bank has donations coming from many sources, including stores, each day. Many hands lighten the task, as the saying goes.

Last year, volunteers donated 41,455 hours, or the equivalent of 19 full-time staff members. Volunteers come from all walks of life, and they represent all ages, races, professions. Some people sign up on their own, while others come as a member of work-place based team, youth group or scout troops, faith-based organizations and others.

Learn more about other volunteer opportunities at www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

 

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