We are VOA.
“Washington is home,” Mark Greaby says. Until June 2020, long hours at work and difficult schedules prevented him and his wife Sally from volunteering as much as they would have liked, so they agreed to give of their time in their retirement, extending the volunteer spirit that has defined their lives.
One of four children -- three by the time her own mother was 19 -- Sally remembers moving often, playing “beat the landlord” while growing up in San Diego. She remembers their trips to local food banks. Still, her mom found ways to give back, whether through March of Dimes or making stuffed animals for children and seniors. “She always showed us time. Not money.”
While her children were young, Sally regularly made quilts, volunteered at their schools, and donated whenever possible, carrying on her mom's legacy. Now, she serves at the food bank once a week, Clothes for Kids two days a week and with a quilting group making quilts/pillowcase and catheter bags for charity.
Mark’s father, a banker, often acted “....outside the norm of the banking community. He was President of the Portland YMCA, a member of the Rotary Club, and a part of the inner city community.” Mark’s family was involved with church, and he learned early on that “...if you can help someone, help them,” which is how he approaches his Mondays at the VOA food bank on Broadway. He does “...a little bit of everything. Helping set up, sorting, bagging foods, and loading boxes,” but he also doesn’t mind “...bending the ‘normal’ to help different people with different needs.”
The Greabys are a team, working at VOA drive-through pantries and in our food banks, and on this day, they've brought their 13-year-old grandson Chad with them. “You need to see that not everyone can go to the grocery store,” she tells him. Plus, staying active and feeling good helping others is its own reward, so they’d like to recruit other retirees to get involved with volunteering.
“We might not be able to give thousands of dollars, but we can give our time.”
Sally and Mark Greaby are committed VOA volunteers. Their story appears here as a part of our #IAmVOA campaign.