David Levy, 69, from Flushing began volunteering at Commonpoint Queens on January 12th, 2021. Since then, David has volunteered 27 hours and committed to volunteering multiple times a week. Staff and volunteers praise David for his sense of humor, positivity, and dedication towards serving others. Recently, we were lucky enough to interview Victoria and learn more about her as a person and a volunteer.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 69 years old, have been married for 47 years to the same woman, have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. I retired five years ago after having worked continuously for 42 years as a software developer for financial institutions. For the last five years I have been volunteering in varying capacities through New York Cares.
How did you hear about Commonpoint Queens and its volunteer opportunities?
Due to COVID, most of my volunteer positions have been closed and I have been seeking new opportunities. Commonpoint Queens recently appeared in an online search and I saw that they were close to home and had various volunteer openings.
Why did you choose to volunteer at the food pantry as opposed to another opportunity?
Of all my prior volunteer work I found working in food pantries to be the most satisfying. I’ve been able to interact with so many clients that are in need and I find them to be so appreciative of whatever they receive. I’ve seen the same people week after week standing in line hours before we open in all types of weather and they always have a smile.
What were your expectations going into volunteering with us for the first time?
I have volunteered in the past in food pantries so I was basically familiar with what needed to be done, in essence a human assembly line: make packages with whatever items are being distributed, place completed packages on shelves or take them outside for distribution, bring out new stock to make new packages, store new items when a truck makes a delivery of new items.
What was your experience like volunteering with us for the first time? Did it match your expectations?
I am accustomed to having 30 volunteers distributing five or six items to 300-400 clients in a 3 hour period and here we are distributing about 20 items to 150 clients in a 6 hour period. On my first day, there was only one other volunteer so I was put to task and had a vigorous workout. It turns out that the prior week there was a volunteer who was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID — so the pantry had to shut down and undergo a thorough cleaning as all the other volunteers were awaiting their test results. The next time there were 8 volunteers but it was still busy the entire time.
How often do you expect to volunteer with us going forward?
I have registered for every Tuesday and Wednesday in February from 8:30AM to 12:00PM and expect to be able to do the same in the months that follow.