For Chris Herron (CH), our Head of Project Management and Workforce Management, giving back is a family tradition. We met with her to go over her Day of Giving, surrounded by fellow volunteers of family and friends.
AC: What organization or local cause did you volunteer for?
CH: Our Church helps the non-profit organization, Kids Around the World.
AC: Can you please provide an overview of their mission?
CH: Kids Around the World is a non-profit organization whose main mission is to help children in orphanages, refugee camps, and poverty-stricken environments experience God’s transforming hope through food, play, and stories.
AC: Was this your first-time volunteering for this organization or cause? Please elaborate.
CH: I have volunteered to help pack meals for Kids Around the World for the last five years. It is becoming a family tradition. This year we packed a total of 20,000 meals that will be supplied to a poverty-stricken area in the Dominican Republic.
AC: Where there any requirements for this type of volunteerism?
CH: Collectively, our church organizes a meal-packing event which is available volunteer work that anyone can join. If you are part of a larger group that wants to organize a meal packing event, you can visit their website and one of their event coordinators will help organize the whole thing for your group. Really all you need is a group of volunteers who want to pay forward by helping at a packing event.
Aside from meal packing, Kids Around the World also needs volunteers for their mission trips where they build playgrounds all over the world while spreading the good news of God. You can also volunteer at the warehouse, host a fundraiser, and donate monetarily. There is no other requirement except for your act of kindness, a little time and effort.
AC: Why did you choose to volunteer here for your Day of Giving?
CH: I chose to volunteer here for the Day of Giving because this organization became near and dear to my heart since we started doing this every year as a family. Sending the message of HOPE to kids also is a good way to plant a seed in their hearts that they are not alone in their adversity.
AC: Can you tell us about your volunteer experience? What did you do? Did your time volunteering meet your expectations?
CH: My family had a great time. There are a lot of our family friends who came over, along with many kids who really put forth their best effort to be part of the packing crew. I volunteered to be part of the set-up committee and a team leader for our group so I can train and teach other volunteers how to pack one meal. One bag contains a cup of rice, a cup of lentils, a vitamin pack and a scoop of dehydrated vegetables. We created an assembly line to put each ingredient one by one by each member of the team, seal and label the bags and package them in shipping boxes ready to be shipped to the destination. We have learned through the past 5 years that these meal packs have helped multiple communities across Africa, South America and Asia address vitamins and iron deficiencies, malnourishment, and hunger.
AC: What would you like to share to encourage others to volunteer their time and energy locally?
CH: I believe that volunteering to help your community or others is not measured by the amount of money or time or effort you put forth. It is in your heart to commit to making a difference (big or small) in someone else’s life. And it really does not take a lot to reap the rewards of joy you get out of helping each other.