June 2017 Volunteer of the Month – Congrats Chad B!
Congratulations to Chad, our June Volunteer of the Month! We are so grateful for your help to the community!
How did you get started with Community Harvest?
I was working for Sonrise Church and I wanted to find something for the youth group to do for the kids to get involved outside of just being in our own little area so I called around to a couple of places and what was weird was people didn’t want our large group. They didn’t think they could accommodate 20-30 students. Community Harvest was one of the first places that was very excited about 20-30 students. The first thing we did was made all the laundry detergent. I think we did 3,000 bottles the first time we did it. It was a fun summer project to make all the laundry detergent in little bottles. Then they invited us out to do a Saturday morning. I think at first we said we would do it once a month and then we got a regular Saturday. Now we’re into our fourth year of doing it. I’ve always loved volunteering. I’ve volunteered for a lot of places, but this one just stuck. I think it’s important for people to know that this is our spot. This is what we do.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering there?
I really like seeing some of the same people week after week. On one hand you feel sorry for their situation in that it needs to be an every week thing for them, on the other hand you start to form relationships with them and they start to get to know you. And I like the employees too. You start to develop relationships with them, Hicham and all the guys, and the ladies. So it’s almost become like a friendship thing with a lot of the people who come through the line and also the people who work there. Once again, just kind of feeling like it’s my place. Kind of like a second home.
I also like the leadership aspect of it, because it’s hard on you guys. I come in there and see one person trying to run everything. Some days when you’ve got a huge group of 100 people with just a whole bunch of people that have never been there before and it’s kind of overwhelming. It’s just second nature to me at this point. I know how much to give out and when you guys need to get rid of it. How many people need to be on this skid, etc.
I think that’s my nature. I am good at seeing people struggling and I want to help them.
What’s your life like outside of volunteering?
I’ve been a soccer coach for 15 years. I’m a Homestead High School girls soccer coach. I restarted Campus Life at Homestead this year. So that was a program that had been missing for about 2 years and now we are up to about 15-20 students every week. I’ve got a wife and three daughters, one going to college next year. I have one in elementary school, middle school and high school. I also work full-time. My daughter, Nadia, has been a co-leader with me since the very beginning, so that’s pretty cool. Brendan Arnold, too, has just within the last year stepped up as like a leader of the group. One of the neatest things to me is that we went through the names and over 250 different volunteers come with us over the four years. The hours are well over 4,000 now that we’ve donated. We have a couple of families come and bring the entire family every month.