Married couple gives back to their community
Max and Delys Bodenhausen felt the need to help their community after the catastrophic tornado hit Joplin in 2011.
Unable to physically go to the disaster site, they decided to donate their time a little closer to home.
“We couldn’t go over there to work, but we could help out here,” Max shared. “We just fell in love with this kind of work.”
In almost five years, Max and Delys have spent 846 hours volunteering to help feed their neighbors in the Ozarks. With each volunteer hour providing 105 meals, the couple has made a big impact.
They have packaged many types of food at Ozarks Food Harvest, but the most challenging item is eggs.
“The first time we sorted eggs was a memorable moment. The first egg I picked up, I dropped,” Max recalled, laughing.
Max served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years while Delys stayed home with their children and later worked in office administration at Kraft Foods Group. They now spend their days giving back to their community.
The married couple of 55 years typically spend one day a week volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest, commuting 60 miles round trip from their home near Highlandville.
The star recruiters also brought their church group to volunteer in the evenings. After seeing the impact of their work, a few of them decided to join the couple as day-time volunteers.
“We have time, we’re healthy and we can help,” Delys said. “We have had wonderful lives and have been blessed with a lot, so we need to give back.”
Max and Delys knew there were hungry people in their community, but they did not realize the magnitude of hunger in southwest Missouri until they saw their hard work in action.
“Last year, we went out to the food pantries and spoke with clients from many different communities,” Delys shared about her most memorable volunteer moment. “We got to see them come and pick up their food. It was such a good experience.”
The couple continues to see the need for food assistance in the Ozarks grow, and remain committed to fighting hunger in their community.
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