July 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Jim Frank

Bread for the City serves about eleven thousand clients a month with groceries, health services, legal counsel, case management, and clothing. That’s eleven thousand individuals as compared to roughly sixty full-time employees at Bread for the City. So you can see why we depend so much on the service of the volunteers that help us out every day. While many of these volunteers only pass through our doors once, we have a small force of dedicated volunteers who come back time and time again, about 45 people, making the work of Bread for the City possible. One of these volunteers is Jim Frank.

After retiring in 2006, Jim found his opportunity to engage with community at Bread for the City as an intake volunteer. While Jim hasn’t been interviewing intake clients on his own very long, he is "impressed" with the DC residents Bread serves. "They’re living on a shoestring, much less than I could ever imagine living on," he notes, and "on the whole, their outlook on life is more positive than negative."

Jim comes back to Bread for the City because he gets satisfaction from doing a good job with interviews. "I know it’s something that’s needed," he says. He also points out that he doesn’t feel guilty returning to his home in the suburbs after volunteering at Bread. Rather, his service with us allows him to see the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots," and the "desperate need to provide a safety net for the have-nots, which is why Bread for the City is so important."

Providing this safety net is an undertaking that Bread for the City cannot accomplish without dedicated volunteers like Jim. Next week’s Parking Lot Picnic marks Jim’s one year anniversary with Bread for the City! Although Jim and his wife had been donors to our Art with a Heart and Holiday Helpings campaigns, it was at last year’s picnic that he expressed interest becoming a volunteer. Now that a year has gone by, Jim plans to continue to spend part of his retirement helping us out, saying "I’m not burned out yet!"

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