At a recent thank you brunch at Our Lady’s Pantry after closing one Saturday morning, director Tom Bullaro gathered the age-80 and over volunteers present for a photo and a special thank you.
Tom and his wife, Anita, both in this photo, in fact, (third and fourth from the left) have worked at the Pantry since 2004, when they moved from upstate Pennsylvania. Together, this single couple has worked many days out of every week for a stunning 39 years!
“And we are not alone,” says Bullaro. “As this photo shows, we have quite a few senior volunteers more than 80 years of age. We actually have more volunteers in their eighties. Some of these individuals had conflicts and were unable to stay for our brunch today. In fact, we even have volunteers who are 90!
“But doctors tell us to keep active as we grow older, and working at the Pantry is a good way to keep moving — and help fight hunger at the same time."
According to Bullaro, Pantry volunteers come when they can and leave when they must. Many of us have limitations as we age, but there are lots of jobs at the Pantry that require nothing more than unpacking our trucks coming in with food during the week Or packing boxes, refilling shelves, or carrying food to our clients’ cars on Saturdays. While boxes stuffed with food are heavy, we now have trolleys and fork lifts to help move food from one place to another, so this is no longer the enormous problem that it used to be in the past.
“Importantly, our volunteers all have a good heart and make wonderful friends,” says Bullaro. “If you would like to join our Pantry family, please stop in some Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning and ask for Kim, Karen, Anita, or myself. Just tell us you wish to volunteer and we will take it from there.
“And thanks so much!”