A Helping Hand, A Volunteer Story
Ann Gordon volunteers every Wednesday at the Food Bank from 10AM to 11:30AM with her coach Debra Kibler. She has been a steady and welcome addition to the team for over a year now. Ann is almost blind and has some cognitive challenges. The team of volunteers sets up her station so she can go straight to work when she arrives. She loves to complete projects then get her “sweet treat”. We honored her with an award this year at the annual luncheon. Here’s what we wrote:
“This volunteer has a heart of gold. Helping all people both young and old. Always giving, always sharing. This volunteer is always caring. She packs the beans, she packs the rice. She makes sure that our food looks nice. She works with gusto, she repackages with pride, you know her helping nature comes from deep down inside. She’s always honest, kind, and fair, such a gracious volunteer, willing to share. You always go the extra mile and while doing so you wear a big, beautiful smile. It’s not for money, it’s not for fame, it’s not for any personal gain. It’s just for the love of her fellow man. It’s just to lend out a helping hand. Ann Gordon we thank you for all your Love, Inspiration and Help in the food bank kitchen. For this we give you the Helping Hand Award. Why share this story? You never know who’s heart you might reach through recognition.”
Karla Jacks, Director of the Camano Center, is Ann’s sister. She attended the volunteer luncheon and was so moved by the tribute to her sister. She’s been trying to find a place for Ann to volunteer for years and was turned away by the food bank several times. Ann has flourished under the loving eyes of her coach and new friends at the food bank. Ann has never been recognized in her lifetime and it touched Karla’s heart very deeply. Karla said that her family is grateful for the generosity and kindness of Ann’s fellow workers and all that we’ve done to include her in our family. Ann has a sense of purpose and a “job”. She looks forward to Wednesdays, so she can contribute.
Debra Kibler, Ann’s coach, was also honored at the luncheon. She puts on her apron and helps out with any project that she can. She is the ONLY coach who’s ever embraced volunteerism and actively serves with her client. She loves being a part of this organization but when we recognized her, she was speechless. Debra was brought to “happy tears”. No one has ever honored her or taken the time to say Thank You the way we did at the luncheon. She’s still talking about it. She told us that the luncheon was ‘life changing’ for her and she wanted us to know how much it meant to her.
You never know which small act of kindness will have a major impact on someone’s life.