This week, we’ve asked our staff who utilize volunteers to write a small post about why volunteers are so important to the Food Bank and to their program. From Michael DeCoursey, the Hunger Walk/Run Project Manager:
For the past 29 years ACFB has hosted our annual Hunger Walk/Run event, to help raise both awareness and much needed funds to support local hunger relief efforts. From inception, the event has grown from around 1000 participants in 1984, to over 15,000+ in 2013.
As a community we come together to walk or run and celebrate the work that is being done to help our neighbors in need. And, as participation has grown over the years, so has the event’s size, scope and offerings - as we now host it at Turner Field and include educational activities, live entertainment, food vendors, kids’ activities/play zone and more. All of these additional event elements require staffing resources… which we couldn’t offer without the tremendous support of our trusted volunteers.
This past March 10th, 2013 - we had the support of over 360 volunteers out there working with us, helping to pull off another amazing Hunger Walk/Run event- the biggest ever! Volunteers worked to: help set it all up, get folks registered, distribute t-shirts/gifts, answer questions at info tents, facilitate parking lot entry/exit, hand out water, entertain participants, collect or sort trash/recycling and more. To give you an idea of what that means - that’s approximately 1,250 hours of work/support that our volunteers contributed in one single day, with an estimated value of over $12,000, which we didn’t have to spend in staffing resources - allowing us to divert more funds towards direct service programs for people in need.
Hunger Walk/Run is one of those special events that everyone from our sponsors, partners, board members, vendors, staff and supporters can easily get behind and enjoy - it’s a fun event! And, the impact our volunteers have on it is priceless.
On a personal note, as the Project Manager of this event, I’m continually amazed by the energy, effort and support we receive from our volunteers every year… as almost 100% of our volunteers are willing to come back and work, year after year… which is a testament to the positive experience we strive to perpetuate in all of our programs here at ACFB. Hunger Walk/Run volunteers continue to take that next step… and we stride along together at this event, making a difference in our community.
Thank you to every volunteer that joined us this year! We couldn’t do this without you.