Second Harvest Heartland depends on our wide network of volunteers to provide support to the nearly 1,000 programs, food shelves, soup kitchens and shelters in our far-reaching service area. While a great extent of our volunteer base provides physical support—sorting food, labeling cans, packing boxes, picking apples, and more—an important, and often less-known volunteer area, are skill-based opportunities.
Two volunteers in particular—Nancy Zingale and George Golden—have been offering their professional skills and talent to Second Harvest Heartland for years by being key members of the Speakers Bureau. Our Speakers Bureau, run by volunteers who represent Second Harvest Heartland by speaking to groups and educating them about hunger and the services Second Harvest Heartland provides to the community, is one of our main vehicles in spreading information about hunger in our neighborhoods.
Nancy, a retired professor of political science for 30 years at the University of St. Thomas, has been volunteering for Second Harvest Heartland for the last three years. In her volunteer role, Nancy not only participates in the Speakers Bureau but also answers phones for various food assistance programs, has represented Second Harvest Heartland at the Minneapolis Farmers Market, and has worked the registration table at Dish.
The connection between being a college professor and working with the Speakers Bureau is direct. “I’m accustomed to speaking in public and if not every member of the audience is totally fascinated with what I’m saying—well, I’m used to that. But, whether it’s political science or fighting hunger, if you are committed to your subject matter, talking about it is easy and rewarding,” said Nancy.
George also has a direct connection between his volunteer work and his profession as a consulting psychologist, executive coach and advisor, and adult educator. In addition to his role as a speaking ambassador, George utilizes his passion for leadership and personal development to work with the staff of Second Harvest Heartland in developing communication and leadership collaboration. He and his wife also donate to local food shelves on a regular basis, have been donors for many years and have even included Second Harvest Heartland into their estate plan.
No matter which way you choose or are able to volunteer, the end result is the same—feeling good for helping our hungry neighbors. “Working as a volunteer with Second Harvest Heartland has been so enriching for me—I have learned much from hungry people and from other volunteers. As an Ambassador, I am privileged to share the work of Second Harvest Heartland by talking with community, non-profit, and business groups. It is soulful and life-giving to partner with a food bank that truly feeds the hungry,” said George.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities for Second Harvest Heartland, visit here.