When Rose Smith was on the verge of homelessness, True North, a Columbia-based women’s shelter, helped her get back on her feet by assisting with rent.
While she still benefits from counseling there, today Rose is also giving back to the organization.
Now a data entry specialist at The Food Bank, Rose is collecting funds and supplies for the shelter and asking co-workers to contribute, as well.
She is not the only member of The Food Bank team to support other non-profits. While most employees make regular contributions to The Food Bank, they also volunteer for or donate to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Family Impact Center, the Central Missouri Humane Society, the Adair County Humane Society, United Way, Loaves and Fishes, City of Refuge, Salvation Army and more.
“I am so proud of The Food Bank staff for making a difference in their communities, not only by sharing food, but also by supporting additional causes that help people in need,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, The Food Bank's executive director. “People who work here do so because they want to make a difference, and that philanthropic spirit extends into their personal lives.”
The holidays present additional opportunities to give back.
Keisha Wilson, warehouse logistics supervisor, adopts a family through the Voluntary Action Center’s annual Christmas drive each year. Although she had little, Keisha remembers her mother going out of her way to make sure her children enjoyed Christmas morning.
“I know Christmas is a tough time for some families, so I thought it would be great to sponsor a family,” she said. “This is my fourth or fifth year doing it, and I love it. I love seeing the joy that Christmas brings to my family each year. I hope these families are also able to experience that same joy.”
Keisha also takes her son to volunteer at a soup kitchen, saying she sees firsthand the tremendous impact volunteers have on The Food Bank.
Both Voluntary Action Center and True North are among The Food Bank’s 143 partner agencies, which means they receive food for their clients at no charge.
That makes her professional work extra special, Rose said.
“I’m so thankful and proud to be a part of such a wonderful giving organization,” she said. “The Food Bank family has given me so much support, and I believe that speaks for itself when it comes to the kind of caring individuals we have here.”