Volunteer work has become a part of my life in one form or another since I moved to Minnesota, a very important one for that matter. I’ve recently become more active with Open Arms of Minnesota in Minneapolis, “the only non-profit organization in Minnesota that cooks and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS.” Helping to nourish others while they are sick (and their families) is a cause I care about and am glad to be able to support.
Open Arms has a large and dedicated volunteer base which helps with deliveries, food prep, reception, gardening and probably a million other things I am not aware of. I generally help in the kitchen where I chop vegetables for hours or pack food for delivery. My day shifts are usually spent with retirees, people that fit it in volunteer hours during their workday or other job-seekers like me. It’s a beautiful thing to talk to many volunteers and dedicated staff members who are giving their time to help others in need.
I can’t say that spending time here isn’t completely selfless as I have found I miss the structure that a regular work day provides, so scheduling myself for volunteer shifts has helped. I also enjoy the comfort of working in a kitchen, my happy place if you are at all familiar with my blog or know me. Throw in the reason we are all there and knowing that every vegetable chopped, every meal that is packed and delivered is nourishing a person in need helps the psyche. What we do matters and can impact lives.
My husband recently went to orientation so we can start doing this together. I also got word that a friend signed up for orientation after I told her about Open Arms. If you are local to the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and are looking for a place to give your time and/or money, consider Open Arms. They are doing amazing things there.