A multi-generational family is committed to helping their neighbors in need. The Whitakers, O’Donnells, Murphys, and Thomases are a close-knit family of siblings, parents, cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws. They spend a lot of time together, and some of that time includes volunteering together.
Joan Whitaker spoke with Jennifer O’Neill of the Connecticut Food Bank at a recent Connecticut Food Bank Mobile Pantry in Naugatuck, operated in cooperation with the Naugatuck Partnership for Children. The site has consistently been one of the busiest Mobile Pantry locations operated by the Food Bank.
Whitaker told O’Neill that volunteering is a tradition with the family. “We all volunteer for many things,” she said, noting that in the group pictured at the December Mobile Pantry are people who volunteer at a church-based food bank and other community programs, and that she also gives time to an organization that encourages organ donation.
“When my cousins and I were growing up, my mom used to tell us that if we have something and someone needs, share. We can help, and there’s always someone that needs help.”
Volunteers like this family are the energy that powers our network of member agencies and our own work at the Connecticut Food Bank. Last year, more than 5,200 Connecticut Food Bank volunteers gave more than 23,000 hours of time worth nearly $710,000 to help feed neighbors in need.
Volunteers help sort, package, and distribute food. They help with office work, research projects, and help at special events. It’s easy to get involved. To find out how you can help as an individual, a family, a community group, school group, or a business, contact Delores Wisdom, Connecticut Food Bank Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-741-9074.
Pictured in photo:
Front row, l to r: Joan Thomas, Joan Whitaker, Nathan Whitaker, Sandra Whitaker, and Kate Murphy. Back row, l to r: Tommy O’Donnell and Jacklyn O’Donnell.