What Inspires Our Volunteers to Serve
Passion powers WSCP’s volunteers. The people that repeatedly donate their time to our food pantry are motivated by something special that makes them keep coming back, day after day. Curious what drives some of our most loyal volunteers to consistently give back? Read on to learn more.
Mike Olson is inspired by the responsibility and pride of helping meet his neighbors’ needs. Mike Olson has volunteered at WSCP for more than twelve years and served as a board member for three years. Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike has managed WSCP’s Thursday evening food distribution every week. Once the full effect of growing unemployment took hold, flexibility was key. “We had to adapt every week,” he says. “As the demand grew, we had a great number of people willing to put themselves at risk to serve.”
Mike has been pleased to see WSCP successfully navigate the challenges of serving hundreds of families every week since the pandemic began. “It shows me it’s been worth my time and money to help move this organization forward to meet the need in innovative ways. It makes me feel proud and hopeful.”
He says that every time he volunteers, he understands that he is helping someone meet their most basic needs. “I feel a responsibility to give back, and I hope others will feel the same way. At the end of the day, this is such important work.”
Diane McKillip is inspired by the privilege of connecting with her community. Dedicated WSCP volunteers like Diane McKillip work hard to listen to our clients and value the trust they show in sharing their lives with her. “I feel enormously privileged to stand with our clients and have them trust me,” she says. “My goal is to forge whatever kind of relationship is comfortable for them so I can better serve. I ask how they’re doing and encourage them to ask for help. I thank them for coming and tell them to keep coming back as long as they need to.”
Diane believes that volunteering at WSCP connects her to her community in meaningful ways. “I think we’ve all felt isolated and in the doldrums at times through this [pandemic],” she says. “Being able to connect with clients and make a difference helps me as much as it does them.”
Joanne Sterioti is inspired by the joy of making a positive impact. Some of our volunteers find niches in our work that are especially meaningful to them. For Joanne Sterioti, offsite mobile pantries hold a special place in her heart. One of her favorite memories happened at a mobile pantry: “At the mobile sites we hand the eggs to the clients in their car,” she says. “I always greet them, and a woman started crying as I talked with her. I couldn’t believe how happy she was to receive the food – and that made me happy!”
When sorting new donations or packing boxes for offsite distribution, Joanne thinks about the impact the food will have. “Every time I pack a box of food, I think about the children that are not going hungry and that makes me grateful that I can help in any way possible,” she says.
Feeling inspired to give back at WSCP? We’d love your help! Check out all the ways you can volunteer at the food pantry. Together, we can provide nourishing meals where they are most needed in our community.