by Heidi Vanderlaan
In the last 5 years, over 350 individuals have passed through the doors at the Streams of Hope Food Center to become volunteers.
These volunteers range in age from 10 to 91 years old. They come from all different cultures, backgrounds, and economic levels. Some work full-time, go to school, are retired, disabled or are veterans. They may volunteer for a few months or years. About 40 of them have been volunteering the entire time the food center has been open.
Besides these individuals, we have had hundreds of groups come and volunteer at the Food Center. These groups come from businesses, churches, schools and individual families. For example, we have had groups from HarperCollins, Farmer’s Insurance, Kellogg’s, Legacy Christian School, Byron Center Christian School, Cadets, GEMS, Youth Groups, Bible Study Groups, local banks, South Christian High School, Kentwood Public Schools and our partner churches.
One thing that all of these people and groups have in common is the heart to serve their community. These volunteers give willingly of their love, time, and energy to serve those who are in need within our community.
With over 420 families being served per month, the volunteers average 650 hours per month of their time to help families get the food they need. Our volunteers have big hearts and have even a bigger commitment to serving God through their time at Streams of Hope. The food center could not be run without these gifted, kind, and understanding volunteers.
These volunteers remind me of a song by Kathy Troccoli called Go Light Your World. They take their candle, lit by the Holy Spirit, and bring it to those people who are hopeless, lonely, tired, deceived and worn. They are a beacon of God’s light in the darkest times and give hope to the 420+ families we serve.
Thank you, volunteers, for your willingness to serve at the Streams of Hope Food Center. You are not only appreciated by the staff but you are also appreciated by the clients you serve. You show God’s love through your kind words, encouraging smiles, warm hugs and heartfelt prayers you offer to the clients you serve and the people around you. Well done, volunteers!
If you would like to get involved by volunteering at Streams of Hope, please fill out an application here.