Turning opportunity into impact

Turning opportunity into impact

May 3, 2021 in Volunteer Spotlight

When one door closes, another opens—and that was certainly the case for volunteer Dave Lappin. After Dave was laid off from his graphic design job at the beginning of the pandemic, he began pursuing freelance work. With some extra time on his hands, he started looking for volunteer opportunities in the community.

He quickly discovered Ozarks Food Harvest and signed up for his first volunteer session.

“I clearly remember my very first time at Ozark Food Harvest. We were processing HUGE sacks of potatoes that were about five feet tall!” he said. “I kind of wondered what I had gotten myself into. But, it really is amazing how much food we sort through on a typical three-hour shift. We all seem to work together like a well-oiled machine and have fun along the way.”

Before volunteering with us, Dave didn’t think much about the issue of hunger in the Ozarks. But now, he understands the challenges that so many children, families and seniors in the community face, and his work every Tuesday afternoon helps provide so many meals.

“It really is amazing the meals that are provided through Ozark Food Harvest to those in need. We might sort through food that will provide anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 meals or more in just three hours of volunteering. That alone really tells you the need to feed the hungry that is out there in just southwest Missouri,” he said.

Over the last year, Dave has donated more than 128 hours of time to Ozarks Food Harvest. He’s enjoyed meeting new people and running into old friends.

“Everyone is great to work with. I even reacquainted with fellow graphic designer, Kevin Richardson, from my past, who now works as a volunteer coach for Ozarks Food Harvest,” he shared.

When Dave isn’t working on graphic design projects or volunteering with us, he enjoys gardening, exercise and teaching Reiki, an energy healing modality, with his wife.

We’re so grateful for Dave and the time he has spent sorting and packing meals at Ozarks Food Harvest! Want to join Dave and other volunteers in the fight against hunger? Sign up and get on the schedule at