By: Faith Okoko via. BLC
I joined the Business Leadership Club three weeks before the club went to volunteer at the Father English Community Center.
In a club meeting with Professor Kourani, we set our volunteer date as April 27th, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
I noticed that the club members were extremely dedicated to their club and the events; everyone arrived on time to volunteer.
Our club advisor, Professor Kourani, wanted to attend, but had promised one of her classes a review session for their final. We were not surprised by her decision because the academic success of her students is her number one priority.
The person in charge of the pantry was very welcoming. We had chosen to volunteer there because a fire had caused losses at the center. However, you could not tell because everything was running smoothly and no one looked defeated.
He told us about the current supermarket system that has been in use since 2004. He developed it because he wanted to keep the dignity and humanity of the people who benefit from the pantry. He did not want people to feel they had to take food they normally did not eat when they were going through a rough patch in life.
He also wanted them to feel free by not taking away their privacy. He said, “Most people who shop at the pantry work, maybe even three jobs.”
This was impressive compared to other food pantries that made it feel as if we were just handing food to people. I learned a lot of leadership lessons from him in the ten minutes he spoke. He then showed us where to put our coats and work started.
The talk he gave prepped my mind for doing a thorough job. He had told us stories about people who organized fundraisers for food and baby necessities. At that moment, I could not organize a fundraiser or donate money, but there was something we could all do as a group: give our time. He assured us that that was enough.
We gave our time for the next three hours, carefully organizing and re-arranging different foods and drinks.
After we were done, we took a couple of pictures for memories, picked our bags, and said goodbye. As I left, I asked myself, ‘What else can I do?’