IBy Aaron Stone, Milford Volunteer Coordinator
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! Last year we had more than 16,000 volunteer visits with 40,007 hours donated. This is the equivalent of 19 full-time staff members. We can’t serve Delawareans in need without the support of committed volunteers!
Geri Crippen, a Milford resident, started volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch in November, and since then she has been a steady presence in our volunteer room.
Her decision to lend a hand started after she noticed the sign on our facility off Airport Road. Then she discovered how easy it was to sign up online for a volunteer shift. Now she volunteers in the mornings by herself and in the evenings with her two boys.
“The ease of volunteering as well different times available,” she says, is a big reason why she volunteers regularly at the Food Bank of Delaware.
While the simplicity of registering was certainly a factor in Geri’s continued support of the Food Bank of Delaware, feeling the immediate impact of donating her time and talent is one of the most enjoyable parts of volunteering.
“The instant gratification that comes from doing something small, but making a larger impact in the community,” she says is the real reward.
Geri most enjoys working with the Backpack Program and making Donated Meal Boxes. These 30-pound boxes of donated food are distributed through mobile pantries in impoverished communities statewide.
The act of putting together packages for Delaware residents who rely on the Food Bank of Delaware and “seeing it go out the door” adds to the gratification of volunteering, according to Geri.
This volunteer also enjoys socializing with others who share her mission. “Meeting other people who are looking to make a difference in the community,” she said, is yet another gratifying component of volunteering. There is a group of people, not connected through an external organization or club, who volunteer regularly at the Milford location. Since November, Geri has become one of the “Milford Regulars” herself and is also a key component of the Milford Volunteer Room.
Interested in volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware? Volunteer shifts are available during the day and select evenings and weekends. Volunteers ages 7-15 must be accompanied by an adult. To view available volunteer opportunities in both Milford and Newark, please visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.