If you meet Lauren Pyle, you might remember her smile. That’s because Lauren likes to have a smile on her face wherever she goes in the hopes she might put one on someone else’s face, too. Lauren has had a compassionate heart for a long time, and for nearly two years, she’s brought hope to our neighbors facing hunger by volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest.
John Deere is a company focused on advancing humanity, and Dave Ahlstrand, manager of financial analysis at John Deere Reman, says the best way to do that is to first address basic necessities. “Making sure people have access to food – What’s a higher purpose than that?” he says. “When people can’t eat or feed children, they won’t have the energy to accomplish anything else.”
Dr. Sunthosh (Sunny) Parvathaneni is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist at Mercy Hospital. He manages cardiac arrhythmias, implant devices and cardiac ablations. In other words, he specializes in heart rhythm problems. As you might expect, he has a busy schedule, which is exactly why he takes the time to volunteer at Ozarks Food Harvest.
Graddy Real Estate has a team of employees with a heart for helping people. Their team is able to help people every single day by connecting individuals to homes, but that’s not the only way they’re leaving a lasting impact on the community.
“Something has to be a catalyst in life for change. We have control to make that step of change,” says Teresa Fairbanks. For Teresa, a DUI was the catalyst that brought her to volunteer at Ozarks Food Harvest, but it did so much more than that. It reignited her passion to make a difference in her community and home.
Jessie Lucero is a prime example of young adults’ desire to get involved where they live. He’s a college student and ROTC member who’s eager to make a difference, but he’s not waiting until he finishes school. He’s impacting his community right now with just a few hours of volunteering each week.
Ozarks Food Harvest’s Glean Team had another successful growing season this year.
Thanks to the continued hard work from volunteers, 29,633 pounds of locally-grown produce was harvested. The Plant a Row for the Hungry initiative also brought in 20,916 pounds of fresh produce, leaving the Full Circle Gardens program total at 50,549 pounds this season. Ozarks Food Harvest could not have done it without the help from compassionate volunteers and partners!
Retired professor Don Landon sums up the importance of volunteering as “a way of not only expressing your gratitude for the opportunities that the community gave you as you grew up and worked, but it’s also a way to continue to fulfill your sense of worth in life.”