Two weeks after my job terminated, I decided that it was more important for me to give back to the community. I found Commonpoint Queens by researching volunteering opportunities in Forest Hills. Through a simple Google search, I was able to find, navigate, and register for the opportunity to spend the day at the food pantry.
Why did you choose to volunteer at the food pantry as opposed to another opportunity?
Because I am a resident in Forest Hills, I knew that I would be able to walk to Commonpoint Queens. My rationale was that due to the pandemic, it is safest to avoid public transportation at this time (though I do acknowledge all of the hard work the city has put into keeping our transportation sanitary). I chose to volunteer at the food pantry because of how many available time slots there are each day on the website. I was surprised by how great the demand is for volunteers in this particular service. I know that many families in NYC struggle to provide food on their tables, and those hardships have been compounded because of Covid-19. I want to be able to serve my community and participate in alleviating those hardships during these difficult times.
What were your expectations going into volunteering with us for the first time?
I had very neutral expectations going into my first day. I was not sure what to expect because this was my first time volunteering for a food pantry. Based off of the Commonpoint Website, I assumed that I would be responsible for compiling the donated foods and distributing to those in need. Besides that, I was not sure what to expect, but I kept an open mind going into it.
What was your experience like volunteering with us for the first time? Did it match your expectations?
My experience exceeded my expectations. All of the volunteers were enthusiastic about their service, and everyone seemed committed to the mission of solving food insecurities in our neighborhood. I was also surprised by the community, friendship, and closeness between the volunteers themselves. Everyone seemed to know each other, and they were kind and welcoming of having me join them, too. I immediately felt comfortable and welcomed.
How often do you expect to volunteer with us going forward?
I plan on volunteering at least once a week! The experience I had was so positive that I believe in Commonpoint’s mission to serve the community. I am motivated to participate and be part of something bigger than myself. I am grateful that services such as the food pantry exist in our community. I always remind myself that no one is exempt from life’s ups and downs. When I am able to, I find it most important to reach out to offer my help because we can never predict when we ourselves could need that help in return!