Defining Success: What Volunteer Mike Believes is the Pantry’s Key Ingredient

Volunteer Mike Carrying Food Boxes | Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Marco Island
Part 3:

Volunteer From The Heart “Profile Series”

Continuing our series of “Volunteer from the Heart “profiles, we wanted to get volunteer Mike’s thoughts on what success means at the Pantry. Mike is one of our strong volunteers who lends his muscle to transporting and processing food. Each week, we pick up thousands of pounds of food from our Partners as far away as Fort Myers. Once the food is picked up, it is then transported back to Marco Island where is is unloaded, sorted and stored in fridges, freezers and shelves. We will let Mike explain more…
Mike, how did you first hear about the Pantry?

I had seen signs about the pantry around the Island.  I was looking for volunteer opportunities and signed up for “Volunteer Match”.  I received an email that listed various volunteer possibilities and Our Daily Bread was one of them and I filled out an application.


Where did you begin? In other words, how’d you start volunteering?

At various times in my life I have had the free time that allowed me to volunteer.  When we moved to Marco full-time a few years ago, I was still working remotely.  Once that is finished, I decided I wanted to do things, while I still can, that give me enjoyment and help others.


Tell us more about your volunteer role.

This is totally new for me.  In some ways, I am the “muscle” that helps move stuff where it is needed.  I help unload stuff, and then help move it where it is needed.  I also volunteer on Pantry day which involves helping distribute food.  You get to interact with the guests and sometimes learn their stories.

What was your first day volunteering like?

My first day was a little overwhelming in that I had a preconception of what was involved that was nothing like reality.  It takes a lot of people working in tandem doing multiple tasks to make the Pantry a success.

You mentioned success and how all the volunteers work together. What impacts you the most about watching Pantry Days unfold?

How involved some of the volunteers are with the guests.  They really get to know them and are able to anticipate some of their needs and they watch out for them and make sure that they continue to receive assistance if needed.


Is there anything you’d like to tell prospective volunteers?

You will always feel after working a shift that you have done something that will help someone or their whole family.  No task is too small and each needs to be done to make the pantry a success.  

Fantastic insights, Mike, and thank you! If you are looking for a way to make meaningful impact in our community, we invite you to join our vital team of volunteers. Please fill out the volunteer application available here and you will receive an email with open dates and times to join in. If you’d like your story to be featured, please reach out to Liz Pecora, Director of Communications, or fill out our “Contact Us Form