“I want my family to realize they are blessed and that some people have more needs than us, especially needs to survive like food,” says Hedi, “It is fun, it’s a family thing, it is making a difference in the community, connecting to others and transforming our own lives by having a sense of purpose.”

The Smith family makes volunteering a part of their family life. Alex, age 16, has been volunteering with his parents Ron and Hedi at MSC’s food bank since he was four or five years old, and Lisa, age 13, started volunteering at age three. “I remember the first time we volunteered, we put Alex in the big boxes of donations to help us reach the stuff at the bottom. Then, Lisa joined him when it was time for her to help,” shared Hedi.

“When I get older, if I have kids, I would take them to volunteer too. It teaches that you don’t always need everything you want, and it feels good when the people smile when you give them food,” shared Lisa. Lisa has provided so many volunteer hours, she received a Community Service Award at school for exceeding the number of required volunteer hours.

“Volunteering is fun, it’s good to go out and do something,” shares Alex who likes to also volunteer on projects with his father during the summer. Ron works full-time, so volunteers with the rest of the family when his schedule allows.

The Smith family volunteers at the food bank on school holidays where they sort, collect, or help distribute food on the food bank line. During the summer, they also help prep food for MSC’s summer meals program.

In addition to their volunteer service at MSC, they also volunteer at their church, participate in United Way Day of Caring projects, and volunteer for other organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

“We see the number of people that need help. Time is the only thing that we can give and volunteering is one thing that my family can do together. It feels good, it’s just right to help
others,” says Hedi, “I want my kids to have the experience of helping others, to know how it feels, and it is a good feeling.”