Volunteer Comes Face to Face with Hunger through volunteering
Gale Clithero started his volunteer journey six and a half years ago after retiring from his career as a high school math teacher. He was looking for something to do in his free time, and he stumbled upon Ozarks Food Harvest.
After volunteering in the warehouse a few times, Gale started volunteering at Crimson House, one of Ozarks Food Harvest’s hunger-relief partners. Volunteers at Crimson House gather food into boxes and help families load their cars. Other volunteers counted on Gale to lift the heavy boxes and keep things organized on distribution days.
Occasionally, first-time clients walk from their homes to Crimson House to pick up food. The boxes they receive are heavy, and it would be difficult to carry them even a few blocks, so Gale often volunteered to drive them to their homes.
“It was eye-opening to see where these people actually lived and hear their stories,” he shared. “I got to learn about how their personal situations and see how they got there.”
Gale also enjoys volunteering at Mobile Food Pantries.
“It’s good to see that the people needing the food are the ones getting it,” he said.
What started as a hobby for Gale has turned into a passion for serving the community. He believes his perceptions about hunger have changed since he started volunteering.
“Some people are in situations they’ve just lost control of. They rely on something or something else to help them get by,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to know I’m helping someone who needs it.”
When he’s not volunteering, Gale enjoys cycling, reading and playing with his band, “The Professors and Mary Ann.” They met as teachers at Hillcrest High School, and they’ve been playing at bars and restaurants around town for about seven years.
We’re so grateful for Gale and the work that he does to Transform Hunger into Hope in the Ozarks! Want to volunteer with us? Sign up at ozarksfoodharvest.org/volunteer.