Special education teacher devotes her summer to giving back
Special education teacher Libbey McDaniel has spent multiple days a week volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest this summer.
As a teacher for 21 years, McDaniel has seen firsthand the need for food assistance as some of her students have received help through the Weekend Backpack Program. She wanted to find some way to give back and put her compassion into action outside of the classroom.
Once McDaniel researched her options, she quickly decided that volunteering at The Food Bank was where she wanted to spend her summer giving back to the community.
“When you can do something to help someone, I believe you should do it,” McDaniel said. “I know when I leave one of my shifts at Ozarks Food Harvest I have made a big impact on a lot of people. Volunteering here is far more important than just sitting at home on my summer off.”
It has only been nine weeks since McDaniel started volunteering, and in that time she has given 71 hours.
“Being able to dedicate my time to Ozarks Food Harvest makes me feel good every time I walk into a volunteer shift and every time a shift ends,” she said.
McDaniel also has loved being able to meet so many people in her short time volunteering. “It is so important to connect with people and I really enjoy being able to do that while also giving back.”
Being a volunteer at The Food Bank this summer has shown McDaniel how much more of an outreach Ozarks Food Harvest has than she originally thought. Working a few shifts assembling Senior Food boxes has shown her the kind of impact she and the other volunteers are making for people of all ages in southwest Missouri.
“One thing I love about each shift is how empowering it is when the volunteer coaches tell you how many meals your volunteer shift has provided,” McDaniel said.
“Being able to know and understand what all you have done to help bring food to the community, in just your two or three hour shift, is very eye opening to the importance of what we are doing.”
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