OUR STORIES / Volunteers

The people behind efaa’s work

EFAA’s work would not be possible without the dedication, hard work and compassion of our 700+ volunteers. EFAA was founded by volunteers and has relied heavily on volunteers ever since. These phenomenal humans do just about everything: stock shelves in the food pantry; meet with participants coming for assistance; work with kids in the Children’s Program; drive around town to pick up donations; and write grant applications.

Toni is one of these amazing people. In her role as an intake volunteer she checks in participants for things like food pantry visits or transportation vouchers. She also provides information about other EFAA services, or additional resources available in the community. Her time spent with each participant is immensely impactful, as the visit also provides a safe place
to discuss life circumstances so that EFAA may offer the most appropriate and effective support.

“My goal is to be a good listener,” says Toni. “Each person I meet with has a different story and I try to be there for them and see what we can do to help. Sometimes this starts with something like a handful of pretzels for a hungry, crying child so the parents can talk with me, or a cup of juice for someone who has health issues and is not feeling well in our meeting. Volunteers just notice these things… the things people need.”

After decades working as a schoolteacher, Toni is proud to volunteer her time now that she is retired. And she gets a lot out of the experience herself.

“People have the nicest, sweetest, most humble attitudes and are eternally grateful for the services EFAA provides. These are hard-working people – teachers, single parents, firefighters, restaurant workers, day care workers, or people dealing with serious health issues. Listening to their stories, I am so impressed by how resilient they are and how they have made it here through so many challenges. They are so thankful we are there for them when they need it and I am so glad we can help them.”