News

‘We all gain so much from giving ourselves to helping others’

‘We all gain so much from giving ourselves to helping others’

March 5, 2020 in Volunteer Spotlight

Tom Carson has a heart for serving others. He’s been volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest for nearly four years, but his passion for impacting the community began with his career in the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Tom worked at VA medical centers for 33 years. When he retired in 1997, he began pursuing volunteer opportunities. Tom currently teaches an adult Sunday school class, volunteers at Victory Mission—one of our hunger relief partners—and gives time at Ozarks Food Harvest.

“I think we all gain so much from giving ourselves to helping others. Volunteering provides a sense of purpose knowing that what we do helps others. Making a difference is a great feeling.”

Tom became interested in volunteering at The Food Bank through his friend and Sunday school class companion Harley Snyder.

“About six years ago, he asked me to give Ozarks Food Harvest a try. About four years ago, I took him up on his offer. He brought me here, introduced me around and the rest is history. I have enjoyed every minute of volunteering here,” said Tom.

The pair volunteers together on Tuesday mornings. They can often be found joking around with each other while they sort and pack boxes of food.

Through his volunteering at Victory Mission, Tom has seen firsthand how his gift of time makes a difference in the lives of hungry families. He and his wife regularly participate in Victory Mission’s food basket deliveries at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Meeting new people and seeing their reaction to our delivery lets us know of the need and the appreciation of the people receiving the food. We often get to talk with them and pray with them. It’s wonderful.”

Hunger in the Ozarks is a solvable issue, and Tom believes that by working together, we can take one step closer to ending hunger for good.

“Hunger is real and it impacts our neighbors. I believe we need to keep Ronald Reagan’s quote in mind: ‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’”

Tom has given more than 550 hours to Ozarks Food Harvest since 2016. We’re so grateful for his commitment to Transforming Hunger into Hope! Want to volunteer with us? Sign up here.