April is National Volunteer Month and we celebrated in a big way! At our monthly food packing, more than 50 volunteers, including our members and Dominion employees, gathered to pack 1680 bags of nonperishable food that were delivered to students at 6 Title 1 elementary schools in the area to sustain them when school-provided meals are not available. We also provided 70 grocery gift cards to a seventh school that prefers gift cards. As a special spring bonus, we also provided $25 grocery cards for the families of all the students who receive food bags. In all, the gift cards are valued at more than $13,000.
In addition, we delivered an assortment of new clothing to the schools we serve, based on their specific requests, in addition to more than 500 items delivered last month. Our expert shoppers again delivered about 360 carefully selected items, including spring/summer-weight leggings, shorts, shirts, underwear, and socks, in the sizes and amounts that the schools had requested.
Also in April, we received a very touching tribute from a counselor at a school we serve that reminds us why we volunteer and that some amazing ripple effects can result from being good neighbors. The counselor thanked us for the weekend food bags and noted that as a Title 1 school, one of the greatest challenge the school faces is food-insecurity for their families. She noted that our weekend food “gives our families, students, and staff peace of mind as it is one less thing our kids have to face alone. They know that every Friday food is being delivered to them so they can have it at home. They know it’s packed with love and care by people that do not even know them because they matter, and they are loved. We couldn’t thank you enough for all your organization and volunteers do for our families.” Such poignant comments are gratifying at any time, but coming during Volunteer Month reinforces our dedication to helping those most in need and reminds us why we volunteer.