During these tough economic times, volunteer organization around the country are hurting. They need money and volunteers who are willing to step up and help their community. On April 27th. 2013, which is Community Service Day, I became a Task Leader Volunteer for my job and volunteer at Open Hand in Atlanta, Georgia.
What is Open Hand? Open Hand is a strong fixture of the Atlanta Metro community and “they helps people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care™, which combines home-delivered meals and nutrition education as a means to reinforce the connection between informed food choices and improved quality of life.” – quote from the Open Hand Mission Statement.
It started with Michael Edwards-Pruitt who founded Project Open Hand in 1988, he and a few of his neighbors cooked meals for 14 friends with HIV/AIDS who were too sick to cook for themselves. This labor of love for the community has continue over 20 years later with a full-time staff, providing nutrition education from licensed dietitians, as many as 700 helping volunteers per week, preparing and delivering over 5,500 meals a day. This organization is a very unique non-profit establishment.
I was so honored to be able to work with my team of volunteers and Team Manager Ms. Tyrone. Our job for this day was to prepare help nutritious meals for low-income men, women and children who are dealing with a critical, chronic, or terminal disease; and homebound seniors. We met with the Volunteer Service department staff who sat down and discuss with us the mission and the vision of Open Hand. The mood at Open Hand kitchen was lively and the staff there was so friendly and positive. Food Safety is strictly enforced based on the clientele that Open Hand is feeding. There are chefs that work at Open Hand that were making fresh healthy dietary requirements meals from scratch for the assembly food line. Our group placed the food into a packing assembly line format where we package portioned foods into individual containers and snack bags for distribution. The assembly line was pretty fast and very organized. At the end of the 4 hour day of volunteering service, I am so happy to say that we have packaged and send out 2545 meals! Can you imagine if we volunteered for a 8 hours, how many more meals we would have sent out!
So make every day a Community Service day! Volunteer to to make your community a better one!