Written by Becky Snyder
Last Saturday marked the first volunteer group activity for Rotaract Oshkosh at the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry. What a great experience it turned into for all of us! We gathered beforehand to enjoy a delicious and plentiful buffet of muffins, bagels & cream cheese, and orange juice – mmm, breakfast of champions! It was a great bonding time and a casual setting where we could get to know one another in a different capacity.
Since joining Rotaract just one month ago, this is already one of my favorite things – the camaraderie. It’s more than just making great friends, but building these service-oriented and fun friendships that you can’t necessarily get at the workplace or in a classroom or out on a Friday night. We all have the same passion for volunteering and have fun in the process!
After enjoying some delicious sustenance, we headed to the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry. Upon arrival, we were greeted and shown to the back kitchen area where we set up shop and got started. Our day consisted of packing donated eggs into cartons, dating, and stocking the refrigerator. It is amazing all the food and items donated – there must have been over 1,000 eggs!
After the eggs were all packed away, we wrapped donated sodas and waters in packs of 6 to be put out on the shelves. That was quite the project and one resident Rotaracter, David, put in motion a genius idea that ended up saving a lot of time and reducing our tape usage and waste. WTG David! 🙂
Our last project for the day was dividing donated potatoes into bags for customers. There were a ton of potatoes, which is great with Thanksgiving coming up.
Of course the pantry can always use more items. If you would like more information on donating food, please visit the OACP website here. Food donations are accepted all year long, as are volunteers. At the end of our shift we were thanked graciously for our time and efforts, and it reminded me yet again how much volunteers are needed, appreciated, and what a great feeling you get. We felt that we accomplished a lot that morning and really helped out – plus, we had fun and are already looking forward to our next volunteer opportunity.
If you are anything like me, volunteering motivates me – to do good things and to make myself a better person. It is always a reminder that the need for food, winter clothing, proper housing, education, disaster relief, and shelter is present in our community. It’s not just something you see on the news, but something that you can see, literally, in your neighborhood. I was surprised to learn the need for certain things here in Oshkosh, and I am even more surprised that these are things I can help out with. You never know what situations you will be faced with, but right now, I do know that I am in a situation where I can give time and energy to help others. And it’s something I have really come to enjoy!