Name: Thomas Mason Harward
From: Tucson, AZ
School: Sabino High School
Youth Forward –
October 27, 2017
at Market on the Move
Volunteering has had a huge impact on my life. One of the largest was when I volunteered for ‘Market on the Move.’ ‘Market on the Move’ is a mini market where fresh produce is sold at a low cost for people who can’t afford to buy fruits and vegetables at regular grocery and market costs. I got involved in helping through my church youth group at St. Pius X. I volunteered there every other Saturday morning for a couple of hours. I was responsible for setting up the events and helping out people with their fruit and vegetables choice. These events were held very early in the morning and sometimes the sun hadn’t come up when I arrived at the event. Through this experience, I faced challenges, felt satisfaction, and gained
knowledge that is still with me to this day.
I consider this volunteering as “forward looking” due to the giving process of it all. To me, forward looking means, among other things, finding cost effective ways to provide low cost produce to the needy. The benefit in this is low income families being able to have healthy meals on their dinner tables while I came away with the feeling of satisfaction.
One of the challenges I faced during these events was coming to terms with the fact people really had to live this way. They couldn’t afford the basic necessity of food, let alone vegetables. I had really never seen that kind of poverty in my life besides the homeless people I would see in the streets of Tucson. My time and work was helping these people’s lives and that made it all worth it to me even when getting out of bed was hard.
Even though there were challenges, the satisfaction outweighed them. I would see the people’s faces as I would hand them a vegetable. To me, that vegetable was something I was used to see in my home every day but to them, it was something special and unaffordable due to their means of wealth. I also had the satisfaction of talking to each of them. Even
asking them simple questions about their day often results in a simple smile.
During these ‘Market on the Move’ events, I felt myself receiving more than I was giving. I learned to be grateful for what I have and that there are many people out there that aren’t able to have the luxury of vegetables. I learned that to people, vegetables are a luxury. Before doing all of this, I was used to having vegetables on my dinner table every night and not thinking twice about it but through this experience I became more aware of how much I took for granted. I felt
myself becoming more aware and thankful for the many gifts and blessings I was given in my life.