A volunteer’s dedication to a better future

A volunteer’s dedication to a better future

August 5, 2021 in Volunteer Spotlight

During Dewayne Cossey’s first visit to The Food Bank, he read a testimonial on the volunteer bulletin board from a child who had been helped by Ozarks Food Harvest.

The boy had said, “When I’m hungry, I feel sad.”

When Dewayne read this account, it struck him.

“Kids shouldn’t feel sad over that,” Dewayne shared with tears in his eyes. “It just reinforced why I came and why I stayed. I’ve worked with kids all my life. For some reason, that hit me, and it still hits me.”

Out of college, Dewayne worked for a year in special education services before being drafted into the army for two years. After serving the country, he returned to special education for a total of 36 years. His passion for helping others led him to multiple volunteering opportunities after he retired.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Dewayne started looking for a new place to give his time and discovered Ozarks Food Harvest.

“I have bought into the mission of the program, and I like the work,” Dewayne said. “I especially like the people who work here and the people who volunteer here. I just think it’s a wonderful place to be.”

The pandemic opened his eyes to the need in our community and made him even more motivated to help.

“When I started hearing that people who were making really good income were now having to seek assistance with food, it really hit,” Dewayne expressed. “In this nation, that just shouldn’t be. We grow enough and produce enough food that no one should go hungry.”

Dewayne’s connection to Ozarks Food Harvest’s mission paved the way for him to create lasting relationships with staff and other volunteers.

“I’ve met some great people volunteering here. The administrative cadre down to the coaches is just excellent,” he shared. “It makes me happy to come to work.”

Knowing the difference his work at The Food Bank is making keeps Dewayne coming back week after week.

“Volunteering makes me feel satisfied,” he said. “I think we’re doing something great, and that’s satisfying for me. Satisfaction not that we’ve done the job, but at being able to work to make a difference.”

Join Dewayne and our other volunteers in Transforming Hunger into Hope in the lives of so many in the Ozarks. We are working to live in a community where children don’t have to be sad because they don’t get enough to eat. Sign up to volunteer here.