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From Community Hours to being a Part of our Community!

Most Saturdays throughout the spring we have both high school and college students come to serve at The Branch in order to fulfill their community service hours for school. As summer approaches, more and more of them are coming on weekdays, too. One student, E, was on a scholarship and had to complete 50 community hours in his Spring Semester for college. He finally completed them two weeks ago. I told him congrats and that we would miss him, but the following day he showed up again! "E! What are you doing here? I thought you completed your hours?" I said. "Well, I honestly love it here. You have all made me feel like a part of this Branch family and I want to serve more throughout the summer just to serve" he responded. He continued, "I was originally signed up to only do half of my hours at The Branch, but I realized quickly how much I enjoyed it and that's why I chose to do them all here. Thank you for making me feel so important and valued here."

The truth is, we love it when young high school and college students choose to do their community service hours with us. Having young, strong, energetic people to serve is great! But, it's more than that for us. We want any volunteer, young or old, weak or strong, to feel like they belong here. We want them to feel like E, who now serves at The Branch simply because he feels like he belongs.

The Branch is a place where you should feel like YOU belong. Whether you are a client picking up food, a senior getting food delivered to you, a high school volunteer looking to get your service hours, a volunteer who shows up week after week, a staff member, or someone who has never stepped foot in our door just looking for some help. YOU belong here!

-Lydia Weflen

Pantry & Volunteer Director

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