Over the years, I have volunteered with various organizations and for different causes, but I always yearned to do more. That’s why I was thrilled when KCI launched its Day of Service program. The initiative offers all full-time employees eight hours of annual leave for community volunteering, and I was eager to start planning.
Initially, I had no idea where to begin or where to focus my efforts. Volunteering is a personal choice, and everyone has their own definition of what matters. However, I knew that I wanted to give back to my community in a way that would not only impact others but also enrich my life. I wanted to feel like I was making a difference and bring people together through my experience.
The Houston Food Bank has always been a place where I wanted to volunteer, and the Day of Service was the perfect opportunity for me and my coworkers to get involved. I coordinated a volunteer day for any interested employees, and on the morning of our shift, I sat in the parking lot of the food bank and reflected on how fortunate I was to work for a company that offered such an amazing opportunity.
As my coworkers arrived, their excitement fueled my own, and I couldn’t wait to get started. Our shift was fast-paced and required us to work on an assembly line, where we scooped food into trays, inspected and sealed the meals, and stacked them for transport. We cleaned and sanitized our work area after each meal prep and packaged 2,986 meals throughout the day, which would be sent to various locations in Houston. It was a tiring and physically demanding day, but our team’s firsthand experience of the efforts that go into distributing food to those in need was unforgettable, and it highlighted the importance of giving back to the community.
The teamwork, laughter, and shared sense of purpose among my peers throughout our shift only enhanced my experience. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to my next volunteering experience. Ultimately, volunteering is a personal choice, but having a clear purpose and knowing why you want to volunteer makes it worth your time. I am grateful for this experience and look forward to my next opportunity.