Trees of Hope:The Value of Volunteering

Taylor Dayton
Updated: December 05, 2018 12:20 PM

For decades, struggling Northland families have known they can turn to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank to help put food on the table. Keeping families supplied with food and produce is only made possible through the valuable service that volunteers offer at Second Harvest.


"I enjoy taking the people around and watching them, "82-year old volunteer Tom Goar said. "I will never forget there was this young lady when she came to the meat market and they said, 'would you like a Turkey?' She just teared up, she was so happy to get a Turkey."

It's unforgettable moments like these that Goar says make volunteering two of three days a week well worth his time!

"The people are friendly, the work is very rewarding sometimes, especially when you can take somebody around who really needs the food and is so thankful that the food shelf is here," Goar said.

As with many volunteers, the opportunity for Goar to donate his time helping others has also brought him through some of his own difficult challenges as well.

"I have been volunteering since about 2015," Goar said. "My dear wife passed away and it was kind of lonesome sitting around the house, so I came up here and it's a wonderful place to volunteer."

Goar says he and his wife were frequent donors to Second Harvest, but it wasn't until after the passing of his dear sweetheart that volunteering took on a whole new meaning for him.

"We never came and volunteered at the food shelf, we always donated to the food shelf," Goar said. "I can still donate and now I can donate my time, and I am sure had she still been around she would have come and donated her time also."

Giving back to the community has no age limits at Second Harvest.

"I never think of volunteering at 82 years-old. The age is in-material," Goar said. "The fact that I can come out and interact with some people, meet some different people, work with such a nice bunch of people."

The Holidays are a great time of year to volunteer.

"Come on up and give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. There are wonderful people at the food shelf to work with," Goar said. "They don't pressure you if for any reason you don't come every week. They are just happy to have you when they have you."


Taylor Dayton

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