Updated: Jul 22
This week on the blog, we want to introduce you to Melena Prasertsak, our Office and Volunteer Manager. Second Harvest needs volunteers now more than ever, and she shared with us why they are so important.
Last Friday on July 2, the National Guard departed from Second Harvest. Guard members had been working with us for over a year when the pandemic started and we had to suspend our volunteer opportunities.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his wife visited the food bank to personally thank them and send them off.
Now that the National Guard is gone, we could really use your help! Melena told us more about volunteering at Second Harvest. She has worked here for a little over 9 years and her job is to maintain all of the front-end office operations (she is the friendly face who will greet you if you ever come to the food bank!), as well as recruiting, scheduling, and managing volunteers.
Melena has had many administrative roles in her career and said she came to work at Second Harvest “just by chance.”
“I was unemployed, and I was searching for a position, and I happened to land here at Second Harvest,” she said. “I really had no idea that we were here in Springfield, as far as a food bank. Once I got here and saw what we were about, it tugged at my heart, and to make an impact and a difference in our community is really good.”
Helping the community is Melena’s favorite part about working at Second Harvest, as well as “getting to interact with staff, volunteers, clients, vendors — all of it.”
Volunteers are an essential part of Second Harvest’s daily operations. Without them, we would not be able to meet the needs of our community.
“All of our tasks rely heavily on volunteers,” Melena said. “We have a very small staff...and our services have increased due to COVID, so that makes the need even greater.”
There are many different ways volunteers can get involved at Second Harvest. “We have opportunities to help with any of our mobile pantry distributions and our drive-thru distributions,” she said. “Sorting and packing donated items for our senior program, for our youth program, our emergency pick-ups, and home deliveries.”
The first step to becoming a volunteer is to complete an application, which takes about one to two days to process. Melena will look at your availability and see what opportunities fit with your schedule. Anyone aged 10 and up is welcome to apply (if under 16, a parent or guardian needs to volunteer with them). You can volunteer by yourself or with a group, so grab your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers for a meaningful and impactful activity!
We greatly appreciate anyone who has ever volunteered with us — we could not do this without you!
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