10/25/13

The day at the food bank

I was not optimistic about my feelings of volunteerism meshing with those of my co-workers.  But, I have to say that they did me proud.  Normally, they will compete over anything…how quickly the sun will set, the depth of the next snowfall, who can flip a coin and get “heads” the most.  I don’t quite understand the need to have a competition like frisbees or wiffle ball or go-cart races at every team event.  And, to the credit of the group that planned this meeting, there was none of that.  So, when we were going to CAFB, I suspected there would be competitions about who could sort the most cans, or who could juggle the most jars…something.  But, there wasn’t. 

What I heard was people consulting; do you think this can is too dented?  Is this what they meant about too much rust?  How old is too old?  And, participating and talking.  It was really uplifting.  And, it made me glad that I was going to dinner that night, my only after hours event with them.  And, I stayed until the alcohol started to get out of control and then I left.  Because I was feeling really good about team; my team.  We sorted and boxed over 4000 pounds of food, which equaled something near 3700 meals. 

The organization was really organized.  Probably the most organized volunteer event I’ve ever been to.  There were several people there serving out some probationary time.  But, the rest of the place was manned by us and they kept us focused and on task and things moved really fast.  All this work is done by volunteers and they run two shifts, six days a week.  Saturdays are full until March. 

The can use food that is up to three years expired with a few exceptions, like tomato products, mayonnaise, salad dressings which have shorter expirations.  And, baby products have to have an exp date in the future.  FDA says most foods are still good for 5 years after the exp date, so when you’re cleaning out your cupboard, keep that in mind.

Syd needs to do 8 hours of volunteer time.  I’m going to see if I can get she and I a shift and offer to take some of her friends in the class with the requirement if she wants to.

Everybody have a great Friday.  I’m off to the last half day of meetings. 

Lane

6 comments:

Lakegaldonna said...

Hi Lane

Awesome for your team on the volunteer front.

It's a little humbling to see what volunteers across the country do for others isn't it? Great idea to go back with Sydney and some of her friends.

ga447 said...

I am so glad it was a great experience. I had to do lots of team building because we had so many different bosses. The food bank is such a great experience. When someone is moving I ask if I can have their cans of food and at church we have a big bin. I took my granddaughter and she loved and told her friends and they are scheduled now. I am so thankful for what I have after I leave.

Piece by Piece said...

High school students here are required to do 40 hrs of volunteer work before they receive their diploma. My grand daughters has all of her hours done and is planning on doing a lot more, she says "It looks good on a resume, and I like doing it"
Good luck to Sydney and her friends.
I begin my volunteer work for Christmas Care in my city in a couple of weeks. This organization only runs for six weeks prior to Christmas, giving families in need, a little extra food and gifts for the children.
My job again this year is going into the homes of clients who are unable due to mobility and/or physical or mental health restrictions, to come to the office to register in person.
Most of these people live in conditions that are less than desirable, (trying to put this nicely, just imagine the worst possible). I come home every night, clothes I wore for the day in the washing machine and me in the shower before I do anything else.
It is not the best of volunteer jobs, someone has to do it and honestly, at the end of the campaign I feel good as I did my part to make someone's Christmas better than it would have been.
Have a good Friday
Patricia

Elizabeth said...

Good to know about the expiration date. Sometimes I used stuff that is expired and I always wonder about it, but no one has ever died (or even gotten food poisoning). But it is nice to have a good solid number to put with that.

Also, glad your volunteer day was a good one.

And, volunteering with Sydney -- that is how you teach her what is important.

xo -E

Rebecca Grace said...

What a coincidence -- my 5th grade son and his father are headed to sort food at Loaves and Fishes tomorrow morning. It's one of the community service "stepping stones" in my son's Confirmation program at church. I'm glad your coworkers didn't let you down!

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled onto your blog via MPB. Read all of this week's blogs. We have a lot in common...I love to quilt and hate team building. It's so artificial!
Just finished reading a book you might like called Quiet by Susan Cain. Big parts of it are devoted to the American way of trying to make everyone an extrovert, and the upsides of introversion. It put into words a lot of negative feelings I get when pushed into a mold into that doesn't fit, and made me realize I'm not the crazy one for not liking it.
Glad you liked the food pantry experience. I've always liked working at ours.