When the COVID-19 pandemic brought the country to a halt last March, we paused our volunteer activities for the safety of our volunteers and staff. However, the need for food in our community persisted, and we were fortunate enough that the Ohio National Guard joined Second Harvest Food Bank to assist with our distributions. For the past year, the National Guards have provided invaluable support at our county distributions and drive-thru pantry at the food bank.
As the National Guards transition to working in our warehouse in preparation for their eventual departure in September, we are gradually phasing back our volunteers. This month, we were excited to welcome back small groups of volunteers at our Clark, Champaign, and Logan County distributions. As the demand for food continues, these groups and individuals stepped up to ensure their neighbors and community members were able to put food on their tables.
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, so we wanted to give an extra special thank you to our volunteers from all of us at Second Harvest Food Bank! We could not feed the number of people we do every week without generous volunteers like you. While the number of volunteer hours this past year may not reflect it, we have felt the enthusiasm from the community to get back out and serve, particularly from the groups who have rolled up their sleeves and responded to our recent call for volunteers. Each volunteer fulfilled a very important task with their time, efforts, and passion for the cause, and we are extremely grateful to have these individuals in our community.
Volunteer Feature: Kyle Brunner of Citizens Federal Savings & Loan
There is no better group that captures the enthusiasm and spirit of volunteerism than Citizens Federal Savings & Loan of Bellefontaine. When asked to bring in a group of five volunteers to a Logan County Fairgrounds distribution, Citizens Federal found 19 eager employees willing to rotate and fill those slots throughout the next six months.
“It was really fun getting to meet a lot of people,” shared Kyle Brunner, Marketing and Community Involvement Representative. “One of our loan officers was at the tail end of the line, so she was the last person they saw before they left. She had a lot of fun just being super helpful. She has a nice bubbly personality, so she was a nice friendly face to see before they got sent off.”
While Citizens Federal Bank has a history of donating to local schools, organizations, and United Way, they haven’t really had the chance to “dive in and get [their] hands dirty” due to their small staff. Finding more opportunities to work side by side with other members of the community was something they wanted to focus on this year, so volunteering with Second Harvest Food Bank was the perfect opportunity for them at the perfect time.
“It was a match made in heaven,” Kyle reflected. “After seeing all the numbers last year of just how many people were getting help and needing food, it just put it in our hearts that Second Harvest was a good fit for us and a good place to start. So we are really thankful for the opportunity.”
When asked what stood out about his volunteering experience, Kyle emphasized the connections his staff made with the community. “Working at the bank, we only get to see one side of people, one small facet of their lives. It was really meaningful just being able to connect with people and show them that we’re not just here to help them with their direct deposit, we’re here in other ways as well. It was a great way to spend our morning.”
Kyle summed up the spirit of volunteerism with this simple statement: “We want to show that we do care about you, we do care about our community. It doesn’t just stop when you walk out the door.” We couldn’t agree more!
Thank you, Kyle, and everyone at Citizens Federal for your time this month and for being stellar volunteers and leaders in our community!
Recognizing April Volunteers
We’d like to use this blog post to specifically thank all the volunteers who helped us distribute food this month.
A very special thank you to:
Choice Properties Real Estate
Citizens Federal Savings & Loan
First United Methodist Church
Harper Community Church
Logan County Sheriff’s Office
Logan County Solid Waste District
Mary Rutan Hospital
Rushsylvania Lions Club
Rushsylvania United Methodist Church
Sertell Chiropractic Clinic
The Back 40 Campground
Thank you again to all the groups and individuals who have volunteered with us. As we open up more volunteer opportunities, we look forward to welcoming you back to our warehouse and distributions! You can learn more about how you can get involved and volunteer at a future distribution on our website.
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