Connection and Community
Sharon Cook is a problem-solver. Once an engineer and a manager, she has sharpened her analytical skills to a fine point. When facing retirement, she had to decide what to do with her time, and she knew she wanted to give back to her community.
So, like any good critical thinker, she did a lot of research and found Ozarks Food Harvest through Charity Navigator. She said what drew her to The Food Bank was that 96 cents of every dollar goes to food donation, and she really liked the culture here, too. So, she began volunteering 3 days a week.
Any internet research will tell you there are a lot of benefits to volunteering. A sense of community is one of them. She enjoys working with the other volunteers and coaches, and has developed close friendships. She says, “We talk about travel, the Cardinals and mystery novels. It’s just fun.” She has become a great resource for our volunteer coaches who are in training because of her engineering skill set, management experience, and her dedication to our program.
Another benefit to volunteering is a sense of accomplishment. She says she wished she started volunteering earlier, but she didn’t have the opportunity before she retired so she donated financially. “It makes you feel good that you, hopefully, have contributed something.”
When she summed up her thoughts on volunteering and contributing to a local charity, she said “I wish people realized how prevalent hunger is and not just among children and seniors. You could be living next door to someone and not even know. It’s common to take the attitude ‘I made it on my own. You can too,’ and I wish people had more compassion.” She’s right, more compassion would solve a lot of problems.
We’re thankful to Sharon, she is a valuable contributor to our volunteer team.