For several years, Neighbors Aid volunteers have distributed food each Thursday morning at the Kornerstone Building on Broad Street in St. Paul. It’s a complex and never-ending process. Non-perishable food, frozen food, and fresh food is contributed by various businesses and entities. Food is also purchased with funds from donors. It’s a cycle of pick up, sort out, pack up, then carry boxes of supplemental food to recipients at curbside. After distribution is complete, the process immediately starts over again. The following week more boxes of food go out the door.
The following report is an overview of what was accomplished by Neighbors Aid volunteers in 2021.
On April 6th., 2022, Hugh O’Donnell, Mike Turner, Teresa O’Donnell, Tim Dowdy, Nell Colvard, Linda Head, and Virginia Castle gathered at the Clinch Valley Times office to receive our Community Volunteer of the Year Award. Everyone partook of a buffet lunch, followed by presentation of a plaque in recognition of the volunteers’ good work. There was much laughter and great conversation.
During food distribution the following day, the volunteers were presented pink and yellow roses as a gift of appreciation from the CVT. In the language of flowers, pink symbolizes “engagement,” which describes the volunteers’ bond with our community. Yellow symbolizes “friendship and happiness,” both of which are the gifts accrued from sharing.
Pictured below are the Neighbors Aid volunteers in action. Teamwork makes it happen.
Why do they volunteer? Here’s what members of the group had to say…
VIRGINIA: “I enjoy the friendship, fun, and our activities – such as our group lunch each week”
LINDA: “There’s a growing need for what we do in this community. I had always wanted to work in a food bank.”
HUGH: “I volunteer because helping others was part of my upbringing as a Catholic.”
NELL: “I enjoy helping people. It was part of what I did during my years as a teacher.”
TIM: “I’ve helped at various food pantries over the years. It’s something I can do and enjoy.”
BILL: “There was a time when I went to Neighbors Aid for food assistance. I liked the people I met, and afterwards I stayed on and helped.”
TERESA: “After I retired from teaching, I began looking around for something positive to do with my life. The opportunity to do this became available. I love Neighbors Aid because we are a team. There are no egos here. I enjoy meeting the people who come to get food, and I enjoy watching the way good multiplies through their interactions. It helps bring the community together.”