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Food Finders

Name: Rachel Bailey
From: Lake Worth, FL
Votes: 7871

the past few years, my life has made a drastic turn for the better as
I became a Student Leader within my school and community. My
volunteer work skyrocketed my Sophomore year of high school as I
started my club named ‘Food Finders’ which falls under my area of
volunteer work: Hunger. Through my internship with Palm Beach
Harvest, I came to the realization that many of the students I see
every day do not have a hot meal at home; they depend on the meals
provided at school. Something had to be done. In my club Food
Finders, roughly 2,000 pounds of food is rescued from being thrown
away and delivered to my high school on Mondays. Student club
volunteers help me distribute this food to the 2,400 students on
campus. As the organizer of Food Finders, I’ve volunteered well
over 1,000 hours last year with the tasks of organizing volunteers,
distributing food in a timely manner, restocking the pantry,
soliciting and allocating funds for supplies, grant writing,
presentations, and maintaining a statistical database. My biggest
challenge has been to organize the pickup and distribution of 2,016
hot meals on Thanksgiving morning. Even though this was the most
challenging task with coordinating over 100 volunteers, it was also
the most satisfying. Families were fed. Although I’m satisfied
every week knowing I am helping reduce hunger in my community, the
Thanksgiving meal giveaway swelled my heart with joy seeing people
rush to take multiple meals knowing my club is satisfying a great
need. To me, “forward looking” means bettering your today to
result in a better tomorrow for you, your community, and your world.
I see my activities as “forward looking” because I have built a
food pantry and club that serves my community now and will continue
serving once I move on. In ten to thirty years when I visit, it
should be evident that my volunteer activities have made a difference
because Food Finders would have grown to be bigger and better.
Through my volunteer activities, I would love to change the world
into a more giving and less selfish one. In a world filled with
egocentric individuals, not many take the time to bless those around
them that are struggling. My career goals are in alignment with my
volunteer activities because just as I saw the need to start Food
Finders, as a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, I plan to serve my
community one day a week dedicated to those with little or no health
insurance. Overall, my experience with volunteering has taught me to
never take the small things for granted. Coming from a middle-class
family, the wool can be pulled over my eyes to where I don’t
recognize that I am privileged to have food on the table, a roof over
my head, a family to lean on, and a community giving me just as much
as I put in. For that I am thankful and feel it’s my civic duty to
help others.