We Can Do That.
Three longtime volunteers making a difference at FASWVA
At Feeding America Southwest Virginia, if it has been built, dug, painted or fixed since 2006, chances are, there are three men to thank.
Bruce Mitchell, Jim Seddon and Harry VanGuilder are three longtime volunteers who spend their retirements making a difference.
They bring expertise from their business and industry careers to the food bank including technology, marketing and manufacturing knowledge. As such, they’re often called on for building projects, research and problem solving. Why spend their well-deserved retirement doing so much work?
Mitchell puts it simply: “Volunteering at the food bank is fun.”
“Even if you’re doing some manual labor, it’s not ‘work’, it’s not drudgery,” he says. “It’s something that we enjoy.”
They started their volunteer experiences the way most FASWVA visitors do, but when their talent for building projects was discovered, their volunteerism reached new heights.
“It was kind of organic,” says VanGuilder. “A little project would come up and Jim or Bruce would say ‘we can do that’ and it just kind of grew from there.”
They all agree that the sheer fun of working together is part of what keeps them coming back, but they’re also glad for a chance to use their skills to help others — in and out of the food bank.
“Us being able to do something or build something that makes the food bank run better, that’s the neatest part for me,” says Mitchell.
All three men also give back as food bank donors, taking advantage of opportunities such as online monthly giving and IRA charitable rollover.
“I give through my IRA because it helps with my taxes,” says Seddon. “It’s a win for me and a win for the food bank.”
As regular volunteers and donors, Mitchell, Seddon and VanGuilder are examples of just how much a little time and a “we can do that” attitude can make a difference at your local food bank.