Trustees’ week is an annual event to showcase the great work our trustee’s do.
For this year’s celebration, we asked Chris, our chair of trustees, to write about his role at the foodbank.
There are lots of different reasons people have for volunteering. Mine were pretty simple – I’d worked for a bunch of different charities for a while and so I knew a bit about need. I’d seen a lot, both here and overseas. But I’d never really experienced need personally. I didn’t know much about foodbank. I mean, I knew how foodbanks worked and I knew why they existed, but I’d never experienced it first hand. So my decision was a very calculated one. I wanted to get involved in something good on my doorstep; something beyond what I do for a living. And so I chose foodbank. I’m not sure why, but I did. And here I am.
What I do at the foodbank isn’t on the “front lines”. I rarely get to meet the families we serve. I’m not planning deliveries or stocking the warehouse. I’m not inspiring others with amazing stories of needs met and lives changed. It’s funny, isn’t it, that the grass always seems greener just over there? You see, what I and the other trustees do is pretty simple – we pray for our volunteers, and we do what we can to make sure all the background stuff runs smoothly so volunteers are not distracted from their important work of being a blessing to the families we serve. And the cool thing is, we’ve all got different roles and we all need each other. They play their part, I play mine, and together we somehow find ourselves part of an amazing foodbank family serving tens of thousands of meals to families across Epping Forest.
But what brought me to the foodbank isn’t what keeps me volunteering. My decision to sign up was a logical one, but my decision to stay is based on experience. You see, I KNOW the tiny little contribution I bring to the foodbank is making a difference. It’s just a small difference, but a difference nonetheless. And that feels good. Sure, there are days when I’m frustrated and tired and would rather relax than serve, but that’s not really the point, is it? If I have the chance to do something good with the few hours I’ve got spare each week, then why on earth would I choose to waste that time on something else? Being part of a family, serving alongside one another and somehow bringing a little smile into the life of someone else… well, that beats watching the footy!
Lots of things are changing around us all right now. Life is hard. Time is precious. But I know that the time I spend volunteering with the foodbank is time well-spent, and there aren’t that many things out there that I can honestly say that about.
So THANK YOU to all our volunteers for the time you spend volunteering at the foodbank. You may not always see the impact of the hours you spend, but I can assure you it’s making a difference and is time well-spent. And THANK YOU to all our supporters who donate so generously to us. Your support makes a big difference to our clients.
God bless you,