Share volunteers: ‘the heart of our organization’

SHARE volunteer
Courtesy of SHARE

At Share, volunteers are the heart of our organization. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and include business owners and professionals, homemakers, retirees, members of the faith community, military personnel, college students, as well as children and teenagers volunteering alongside their parents.

Their diversity brings the creativity and vitality that is necessary for the continued growth of our organization. The ability of people to willingly work together for the betterment of our community is a truly wonderful thing.

“Our volunteers like serving for a variety of reasons: our mission resonates with their values, it is a way to give back, a great way to meet new people and make friends, to gain work experience and develop or share special skills,” said Molly Evjen, director of volunteers and community resources. “The programs bring a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day and our volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to help.”

And you don’t just have to take our word for it.

“Share has a great mission. I really believe in the way that they provide for families in need. Everyone is very welcoming and friendly and makes you feel a part of a team of people all interested in helping others,” said Kim Goelz, a Share volunteer.

“It’s a welcome and fun challenge to make quality meals from a pantry and walk-in mostly dependent on donations. Share has several well-qualified chefs and a ton of awesome and dependable volunteers who all make the job easy and fun,” said Hans Michielsen, also a Share volunteer.

Share’s meal and nutrition programs (Backpack, Fresh Food Pantries, Hot Meals and Summer Meals) are reliant on the generosity of our volunteers’ time and talent. With their support, Share serves 7,500-plus to-go meals monthly, delivers 2,500-plus food bags to children in local school districts monthly, and serves 15,000-plus free summer lunches to kids 18 and under.

Our volunteer team is also key to the daily operation of our in-kind donation program. New items, such as clothing and nonperishable food items, come into the warehouse every day, are sorted, organized and then packed up to be sent out to hundreds of clients each month.

“We learned in March through May of 2020 what our organization looks like without our amazing volunteer base,” added Evjen. “In the early days of the pandemic, we asked our volunteers to stay home and to stay safe. Small teams of staff jumped in to ATTEMPT to fill those shoes. Today, we are so thankful to the returning and new volunteers and we are excited to have them back on site.”

This year, we also look forward to re-opening volunteer activities within our shelters. We are actively recruiting volunteers to help with meal preparation and service inside our family shelters, volunteers that can run age-appropriate activities for children and families, as well as volunteer engagement assistants that can be there with open ears and a helping hand for our shelter guests.

At Share, we depend on our volunteer base to not only support our programs to keep them running but also to advocate for our clients in their communities. Spreading understanding and compassion goes a long way for those that we serve.

Become a Share volunteer! Whether you volunteer on your own, with a friend or as a team from a local business or organization, your time will truly make a difference. Volunteer candidates for our meal and nutrition programs can learn more and sign up for openings online at sharevancouver.org/volunteer. If you have special skills to offer, or are interested in getting involved with our shelters, please contact Molly Evjen at [email protected].

This content provided by and paid for by Share

Article Source: Vancouver WA Business Journal