VEAP loves our volunteer corps of 3,000 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?
I have been a volunteer since June 2016. I learned about VEAP through my church, St. Richard’s. I retired in 2013 as HR Director with St. Olaf and I was ready to give something back to the community.
What volunteer roles do have with VEAP?
I have always been a driver. I started out in the senior rides program and now I’m a pantry driver.
What keeps you volunteering with VEAP?
I really enjoy driving, I get to meet a lot of interesting people with a lot of interesting stories. It is heartening to see a need met. I also enjoy the sense of belonging among the volunteers. We know one another and everyone is welcoming and helpful. It is a community here. I’m proud to say that I’m a VEAP volunteer.
What stands out to from your volunteering experiences?
As a driver, we get to know our riders after a while. I took a woman home this morning, she has twin babies and we got to talking about her babies. I just love the stories and getting to know people.
It really humbles me what people are up against and how they just make it work; to be a small part of that is really fulfilling. The women in particular strike me- what they do to make life work. They don’t complain, they just do what they have to do. There is a need and a surplus, we facilitate meeting the need. I’ve been a resident of Bloomington since 1976 and I continue to be amazed at all of the places around here that I’ve never seen before, condos and apartment building. It is fun to learn more about the city I live in.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
My father is 92 years old, he lives in Waseca. My wife, Peggy, and I help care for him and visit him every week. We also have 6 grandkids, all of whom live in the Twin Cities so we enjoy watching their activities. We love to travel and take quite a few trips each year.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a Van Driver at VEAP?
It is very straightforward, not complicated at all; as long as you’re comfortable driving a vehicle you can do it. The territory is reasonable to cover and the interaction with people is the most enjoyable part!
What do you wish you knew about VEAP before you started volunteering?
I wish people knew the scope of VEAP. I think a lot of people were like me before I started volunteering, I knew about the collection box at our church but I didn’t know much more than that. The scope and depth of services is so much bigger than food.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about volunteering? I think it’s infectious. I look forward to coming here twice a week. If you have need to give back, this is a great place!
Thank you, Roger!
Are you ready to become a volunteer like Ann? Sign up today!