Volunteer News and Stories
Read our May 2013 Volunteer Newsletter.
Volunteers of the Month: Parking Volunteers
Rain or shine, extreme heat or freezing temperatures, the parking volunteers at Loaves & Fishes are here to keep our parking lot organized and welcome clients to the pantry. Some of the regular parking attendants are Dwaine Churma, Dan Darby, Hugh Flanders and George Larson. Their dedication and consistency has maintained order and created a positive atmosphere for our clients. Each of these gentlemen have their own reasons for volunteering in the parking lot and they each bring something unique to the table.
“I enjoy being a part of a group that helps people in need,” Dwaine said. “You notice the people in dire need and it is rewarding to assist them in any way possible.” Hugh Flanders enjoys the different volunteer opportunities that are offered to him. “What I like about Loaves & Fishes is the flexibility as a volunteer,” he says. “I was a teacher for 35 years, so I enjoy being outside.” In addition to being a parking attendant, Hugh also volunteers as a job support coach. Whether he is working with other volunteers or clients, Hugh likes interacting with all the people he meets. “It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and get to know different people. We have a good time. I also like working with the young volunteers. I have helped a few of them find jobs.”Dan Darby travels from his job in Ohio to Naperville every weekend to volunteer on Saturday
mornings. Dan’s favorite part about volunteering is watching the process the clients go through when they come to Loaves & Fishes. “I like to see the clients go through the whole transformation. When they go in they look like the world’s beaten them down, but when they come out, they have a smile on their face.” George Larson enjoys the environment he is in as a parking attendant. “I just like it so much better than working indoors. I like being outside and being able to talk to the other parking guys.” His favorite thing about volunteering at Loaves & Fishes is the bond he has formed with the other volunteers. “I have developed a great camaraderie with the parking guys and all the people I met here,” George says. “They are good people.”
Staff member Gerard Oleskowicz has nothing but high praise for his parking volunteers. “They are very easy to work with and they are very responsible,” he said. Gerard echoed the sentiments of the entire staff at Loaves & Fishes. “The fact that they are volunteers makes it even more special,” he said. “They are fantastic people and I love working with them.” From all of us at Loaves & Fishes, thank you for helping us get through the winter!
View Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon pictures on our flickr page!