VEAP loves our volunteer corps of 3,500 people! In our Volunteer Spotlight series, we highlight their amazing work and dedication in advancing VEAP’s mission.
When did you get involved with VEAP?
February 2009. I was attracted to VEAP because I could volunteer with my children for our community.
What volunteer roles do have with VEAP? What is your favorite?
My roles are sorting produce, personal driver, birthday bags, and van driver where I pick up donations and do home deliveries. My favorite role was personal driver. I did it 2x a week for many years. I knew some clients pretty well and we really enjoyed spending time together during the ride.
What keeps you volunteering with VEAP?
I volunteer for several organizations but what I like about VEAP is the flexibility of my work, such as the hours and the many different positions. I also enjoy my interactions with staff who are always very appreciative of the work volunteers do.
What makes volunteering meaningful to you?
Each of us should use whatever gift we have received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10). Some people are good listeners, organizers, drivers, teachers, good at answering the phone, good with computers . . . it is important that we use our free time to improve the life of others.
What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
I come from Switzerland and became an American citizen in 2014. A year ago I had the opportunity to meet a group of Afghan women and I am currently helping them with English and with their citizenship interview.
Is there a particular moment or favorite memory that stands out from volunteering?
Back in 2016, I volunteered with my son for the VEAP Summer Youth Food Program where supplemental food over summer break was provided for children who were no longer receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school. School-aged children were able to visit the food pantry with their parent or guardian. My son, who was interested in dentistry at the time, organized “Dental Awareness Week”. His goal was to teach children and their parents about the importance of maintaining good hygiene. He created a dental flyer and handed out oral hygiene products to the families that visited the food shelf. His passion for serving and dentistry did not stop there because he is now treating patients at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at VEAP?
Our community needs your help. If you are ready to volunteer, it could be once a month or 5x a week. Either way, there is a place for you here at VEAP.
Thank you, Floriane!