A volunteering story by: Cameron

The person went to the northern Illinois food bank with her friends after volunteering online. They went to a warehouse facility and chose which part of the food packaging process they would take part in, they chose meat. After a man checked which meat was good, they had to examine and check which packaged meat had no tears or rips. Then the meat continued down the process line to be packaged. After spending about an hour helping with the meat, they went and helped sort the bread from good and bad. It was essentially the same process, checking if the packaging was fine, then passing it on to be boxed in another area. Due to their timing they then helped the food bank clean up and disinfect all of the areas food will be coming and going. This is to ensure for a safe environment that will prevent bacteria from reaching the food and potentially, the people that will be receiving it. Throughout all of this process was with a friend that they volunteered with. Also, there were people that came regularly to the food bank that helped out newcomers such as them so they didn’t potentially mess up the process. The tasks were fairly easy and require basically no experience, letting anyone be qualified to do the jobs, even someone who has no legs. Even children above 8 are allowed to participate here, the idea is to include everyone in the process for a more inclusive environment.

The Inspiration

As to who inspired me to volunteer, It probably had something to do with my family. I have family in the Philippines and its not a first class living state such as America. There are many people living in poverty with unsafe drinking water or even food problems. While this may be in another country, there is a number of people here that struggle to get food or water, they often rely on places like food banks. So after some thinking I decided to volunteer the Illinois food bank with some friends. I wanted to help out someone even if I would never meet them, I wanted to feel like I made a difference in at least 1 person’s life for the better. I couldn’t think of an easier way than to just volunteer at the food bank and help the less fortunate have food and water for a meal. All you have to do is go down to a local food bank, help pack food or water for someone to eat and drink, and then the rest will be taken care of. Overall volunteering was nothing but a good experience I recommend it to anyway who is trying to get involved in some sort of community service or have nothing to do and you might as well do something helpful for your community while helping someone in need. So, overall, I think that people have a strange conception that community service is just labor for no real profit. However, you feel a sense of pride from it after you help someone. It’s also a good way to spend time with friends when you have nothing else to do,

The Aha! moment…

The experience of doing any sort of community service is a real eye- opener in my opinion. Whether it be picking trash at a local park or helping out a food bank, you feel like you really did something afterwards. Most people have this idea such as “why would I want to do labor for no profit?”. That sort of thinking isn’t correct in my opinion. You are helping people, the community, a family in need, possibly even an elder lady. I’ll admit that it can feel laborious, however, you can volunteer with friends. They make the experience feel less like you’re doing work, more so just spending time with them. Also, you really get a feeling of how simple it can be to help people who are less fortunate than you. With just 2 hours at the local food bank, me and my friends prepared lots of food for people in need of it.

To summarize it in three words…

  • fun, helpful, eye-opening

Why should you do this

Yeah, its great way to spend free time and afterwards you feel a sense of pride for helping the less fortunate.

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