Volunteers come to Community Action Services and Food Bank to help clients. But last spring, Kathryn Judd tapped into a trade secret: volunteering helps the volunteer even more.
Kathryn’s granddaughter was spending too much time at home, and Kathryn thought volunteering would serve as a positive motivation to leave the house. So with encouragement, her granddaughter agreed to volunteer at Community Action Services’ food bank for six months, and Kathryn agreed to join her.
Once the six months were up, Kathryn’s granddaughter was ready to finish volunteering. But although her original reason for volunteering came to an end, Kathryn didn’t want to stop. She liked what she saw.
“I am very impressed with the way [the volunteers at CASFB] help people,” she explains. “They’re so kind and thoughtful of their clients. They try really hard to make the clients feel good about themselves.”
Over a year later, she now volunteers weekly, spending most of her time stocking shelves. She also keeps an eye out for other needs. When she notices something she could help with–a mess that needs to be swept up, for example–she rolls up her sleeves and takes care of it.
“If I would just stay home and try to find things to do, I would be bored!” she says with a laugh. But volunteering is about more than just filling time: “I enjoy feeling like I’m doing something worthwhile,” she adds.
Kathryn’s favorite part of volunteering at CASFB is the people she gets to meet.
“I’ve learned to look at people a little bit differently than I did before,” she says. “Many of our clients are really grateful for what they’re receiving. Each client who comes is treated with care and respect.”
“[Volunteering at CASFB] makes my life great!” she says. “I’ve made friends here. . . . It makes me feel good to feel like I’m being a little bit helpful.”