It’s hard to imagine having to make the choice between buying groceries or buying medicine. For many older adults living in our community that is a choice they must make regularly. Luckily, we have a supportive community who allow us to fight back on this notion and provide support to those in need. Thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, Community Food Share was able to distribute food to 23% more older adults this past winter season, compared to the previous year.
As impactful as the Elder Share program has been, none of it would be possible without the support of the program’s amazing volunteers. One such volunteer is, Annie Sasack. Annie is an Airforce veteran and long-time resident of Longmont, who has been an invaluable part of the Elder Share team since the first day the programs’ distributions came to her doorstep.
Annie has an amazing life story that, fortunately for us, led her to where she is today. As a member of the Airforce, she was stationed in Germany where she worked in a hospital helping deliver newborns for her fellow soldiers and their families. During this time, Annie realized her passion for working with children, and when she came back to the States, she took pride and joy in working at a preschool in Boulder where she was able to continue her fulfilling work and utilize her instinct for helping others. After enjoying a long stint in Boulder, Annie moved to Longmont in order to be close to her four children. “I enjoyed living in Boulder, but I was ready to move here. After all this time, I’m finally close to my children.” It was at this point in Annie’s story that our organization was lucky enough to attract her attention.
Ever since the Elder Share program began holding distributions at her apartment building more than 5 years ago, Annie has volunteered at the bi-weekly distributions. From greeting and checking her neighbors in when they come to shop, to assisting with the setup and breakdown of the distribution, she is always there to offer her support. But it doesn’t stop there when it comes to her involvement with the community… When she’s not helping run the food distribution, Annie’s planning a variety of other activities in the building, such as game nights and Irish dancing. From food, to fun, to a friendly attitude, it’s clear that she cares deeply about those around her! “I do it for my neighbors, to help everyone get out and enjoy each other’s company.”
Annie didn’t want to take all the credit though. She expressed her gratitude for all the other volunteers who support the distribution regularly, motivating her to continue doing the very same.
In addition to her work as a volunteer, Annie is also a participant in the program and receives her groceries from the Elder Share program every other Thursday when the distribution come to her building and provides food to roughly 30 tenants. Annie was sure to mention that all of those who receive their groceries from the distribution are more than appreciative of the program, as it provides fresh, nutritious food, financial stability, and a sense of community. “The residents love that the food is brought in for them to choose from and we’re all so grateful.” Annie went on to mention that she’s more than happy to give back to the program by volunteering her time and positive energy.
Annie’s contribution to the Elder Share program is a testament to the positive impact that volunteers can have on their community. She is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure her neighbors receive the assistance they need. At Community Food Share, we can never have enough people like Annie who support our mission. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, consisting of more than 25% of the working hours that go towards our food resource programs.
If Annie’s story has inspired you to get involved with our community, we would love for you to join us! You can find our volunteer opportunities by visiting our volunteer page linked here. Or, if you’re interested in volunteering specifically for our Elder Share program, you can reach out to our program coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We truly do appreciate everyone who allows us to further our mission, and work towards a community where no one goes hungry. As long as there are people like Annie in this world, those in need of a helping hand will always have a place to turn.