I am VOA.
I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana doing volunteer work in my early teens. I went to elderly neighbors' houses and did small things for them to help them out. Sweeping under beds, threading needles and cleaning the fridge out. I was offered money, but I never excepted. It was instilled in me to be helpful and it made me feel good to help them.
I was working when the pandemic set in last year. Before I knew it, I found myself without a job and it was only a month later, that I started feeling depressed. Having volunteered with my granddaughter in 2019 for the Everett Fourth of July parade, I was on the email list for the VOA. The email came in at the perfect time for me, that the food bank needed volunteers and I jumped at the chance to be there and help.
I told my husband Ron that I was going to volunteer and he said, put me down to do it too! We now get in at 8:00am four days a week. I started out as a shopper bringing food out to the clients. Now, my usual first job is putting the dairy bags together. Throughout any given day, I also put children’s snack pack bags together and the homeless bags too. I put dry boxes together and can always be found stocking something somewhere.
I have always had a passion for volunteering, whether it is at a golf tournament, a tennis tournament or at the Everett animal shelter. I was taught growing up that you give back. Growing up, neighbors only a block away from us didn’t have what we had, so before Christmas each year, we would clean out our toy boxes and books to give to those neighborhood children.
Last year I put in more than 1000 volunteer hours at the Everett Food Bank and I'm working on that goal this year too. I told my neighborhood that we would make it an annual event. Last year we donated almost 700 lbs of food. This year's goal is 1,200 lbs.
Last year I put in more than 1,000 volunteer hours at the Everett Food Bank and I'm working on that goal this year too.
I am glad to be volunteering at the Everett Food Bank, so much so, that I resigned from my job last month so I can continue helping others.
Donna Thornberry's story appears here as part of our #IAmVOA campaign.