Volunteering is one of the most important contributions that a person can make to the community they live in. Volunteering is a decision that brings with it a wide range of different benefits that cannot be ignored, including but not limited to:
- Giving back to the surrounding communities and helping make your towns/cities the best possible place to live.
- The opportunity to make new friends and develop the types of relations that can enrich your life both personally and professionally.
- Lastly, it fills your heart knowing that any effort you put into volunteering doesn’t go unnoticed and gets multiplied 100 times while helping those in need.
One of the most important benefits of volunteering, however, has to do with the true meaning of the phrase “paying it forward.” We all benefit from living in a nice place, having family and friends that support us and enjoying comforts that at times we take for granted. By taking some of that love and care that you’ve received from your community over time and giving it back, you do your part to make sure that others are able to enjoy the riches and the success that you have in your lifetime.
The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
It is with the spirit of these benefits in mind that the American Marketing Association Central Florida recently participated in a volunteering event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. AMA CFL is a volunteering organization by its nature, but beyond that it is also dedicated to assisting other not for profit organizations as they work directly with their respective communities in an attempt to help make the world a better place, even in some small way.
This AMA CFL volunteering event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida was a rousing success. As we walked into the facility, we were welcomed by friendly staff that couldn’t be more thankful for having us. The food bank itself is an amazing facility that is truly professional and well organized in every sense of those words. Since Disney was one of the main sponsors when the building opened its doors back in 2013, you will find a little Disney Magic everywhere you look. We were given the simple task of sorting dry goods that are distributed to local branches, that are then separated and packaged to provide food to families in need.
Besides feeling a great sense of accomplishment at the end of our task at hand, our visit to the Second Harvest was topped off by an amazing tour of the whole facility given by Maureen Mikel, Event Specialist. It was fascinating to learn that the food bank doesn’t just limit itself to providing food for those in need – it also goes out of its way to offer rich learning opportunities for people who want to better themselves. The Second Harvest also has a state-of-the-art kitchen that was donated by Darden Restaurants which serves as a learning ground to those who want to learn a unique skill. The Second Harvest works directly with these individuals and provides them job internship opportunities in the area that can turn into full time positions. As Maureen shared with us, special cooking class guest, John Rivers, from 4Rivers Smokehouse saw the devotion and ambition of one individual and hired her on the spot. That’s the power of the community!
It is hard to quantify at times the value that volunteers bring to an organization. The work of volunteers for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is particularly helpful, because it goes directly to their bottom line by reducing extra expenses that can be passed onto the work they currently do every day. The time that AMA CFL volunteers spent sorting dry goods and cans was extremely rewarding, particularly when it comes to knowing that something so simple could have such a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing that you truly made a difference in someone’s life is something that you just can’t put a price on.