If you’ve ever juggled a job while taking care of a family and trying to enjoy the warm weather, it may seem difficult to imagine adding anything else to that mix. But many Coloradans have found a great way to give back through volunteering their time and skills at local non-profit organizations. Hunger Free Colorado’s success depends on the great work of our volunteers. While we appreciate our volunteers year round, we would like to give them special thanks during National Volunteer Week, April 12-17.
Volunteers play a crucial role at organizations like ours. Without the help of volunteers, we would not be able to work as effectively towards ending hunger across the state.
One volunteer who has made an invaluable difference here is Monica. Since January of this year, Monica has been volunteering with the Hunger Free Hotline, a statewide, toll-free number that connects Colorado families, seniors and individuals to food resources. She answers calls from people statewide and provides food assistance and available resources (like food pantries, free meal sites and nutrition programs like food stamps)—and a sympathetic ear.
Monica recalls a time toward the beginning of her volunteer position when she received a call from an 89-year-old man wanting to know what food resources were available. He didn’t think he qualified for food stamps, although he had received them in the past. After asking questions that showed he was still eligible, Monica helped him complete his application over the phone. She laughs as she remembers how much time she spent listening to him tell his life story.
“A lot of times, the seniors I talk to on the hotline just want someone to talk to,” she shares. And she’s always willing to listen.
Later, she followed up with him to ensure that he would have transportation to the county office to pick up his food stamp benefits card. After learning that he was in a wheelchair, Monica researched several free, accommodating transportation services and provided him with the information.
“I followed up with him several times to make sure he was taking the necessary steps to receive his food stamp benefits,” she recalls.
Monica is one of many wonderful volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help Hunger Free Colorado adequately meets people’s food needs across the state. Our volunteers are great leaders in the fight against hunger.
Want to volunteer? Find out about volunteer opportunities with Hunger Free Colorado and other nonprofits.
This post was contributed by Bweza Itaagi, Local Engagement Associate for Hunger Free Colorado.