Jacquie has taken our tagline ("Donate. Volunteer. Advocate.") to heart. Through her employers at Heffernan Insurance, she's volunteered in our warehouse. On her own time, she's spread the word on Twitter, and launched all sorts of efforts, big and small, to help the Food Bank reach the neighbors who need us. This is Jacquie's account of a door-to-door food drive she led last fall -- making her one of our Hunger Heroes!
By Jacquie Domingo
I love supporting the Food Bank in any and all ways possible because I truly believe in your mission to end hunger. I have worked with hundreds of non-profits over the years, but none has drawn me in as the Food Bank does.
I first volunteered in 2003, a senior at Holy Names High School, as part of a community service requirement and the desire to heal more people grew from there. I started putting together canned food walks with other high schools, giving groups of student volunteers a chance to mingle and have a good time while collecting cans door-to-door, neighborhood-to-neighborhood. By the end of a 3-hour walk we would have enough cans to fill two cars, and it felt amazing.
The idea for the canned food walk resurfaced, nine years after my first go-around. I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it another try.
I posted the event on my Facebook, Twitter, and sent an e-mail blast to my co-workers, friends, and family. When the day arrived, I had a great, enthusiastic group ready to work in my neighborhood.
But it wasn't a cake walk! Some people were discouraged after their first few houses. I taught them a few tricks from my sales expertise, and their reluctance dissipated. Here are some tips:
- Ring the doorbell once. If no one answers, knock slowly and wait. (No one likes to be bothered on a Sunday morning, especially not after two doorbell rings).
- Start off by introducing yourself, then immediately tell them you’re not selling anything; you’re simply a volunteer taking time out from your Sunday to collect cans for the local Food Bank.
- Explain that by donating directly to you, they save a trip to a donation barrel with the same giving effect.
It started raining an hour into our walk, but the volunteers were resilient and committed to complete their three hours of service. We filled an entire trunk with food!
My volunteer crew expressed gratitude for the experience and promised to bring their friends, family, and kids the next time we put a walk together. I’d love to see this idea spread across the neighborhoods. It can be done anywhere a group of volunteers are willing to walk!
Doing something innovative to raise food or funds for the Food Bank? We want to hear about it! Tell us more in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.