Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Value of Volunteering

One of our local Faith Alive supporters is a hero. Denver's Channel 7 news recently awarded Gerry Lake that well-deserved title for her tireless efforts creating a feeding program for disadvantaged school children and their families. Each Thursday, she leads a group of community volunteers at our church to organize, pack and deliver over 200 bags of meals to area schools where teachers and counselors put the bags in identified children's backpacks. We affectionately call this program, in partnership with the McKinney project at our local food bank, McBackpacks.

What does McBackpacks have to do with Nigeria? A lot, according to Kate Clement, volunteer at Faith Alive and headmistress of Elim Elementary School in Jos, Nigeria. As part of Kate's visit to Fort Collins last spring, she watched in awe as Gerry and the McBackpack volunteers filled bags with peanut butter and boxed milk.

Kate took two important lessons from Gerry back to Nigeria:

1. It's possible to have a pervasive culture of volunteering.
2. You're never to old to volunteer in some way.

Gerry and her volunteers are young at heart. Kate said that many Nigerians think they have less value after a certain age, but Gerry and her crew prove otherwise.

We wish both Kate and Gerry well as they continue to be model volunteer heros.

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