Empathizing Hearts

Backpacks to help students start school

What moved your heart to volunteer at Feeding Hands? At the wine tasting fundraiser, we asked our volunteers to share the story of what touched them. Here are just a few of those stories.

“My heart was touched late summer at Feeding Hands by a young woman who was visibly upset because she was unable to afford school supplies for her child. And yet, she came in carrying two large bags of clean clothes that her young children had outgrown. She had brought them to us to share with other families who were also facing hardship. I was incredibly moved by the fact that despite her tears and her own difficulties, she thought of helping others. That Tuesday, she and many others left Feeding Hands not only with food, but with large smiles and new backpacks filled with supplies for their children’s important first day of school.”

“There’s a young woman with 3 sons who came to the pantry. She was clearly very depressed when I first saw her. I remember telling her that things will get better, and I started praying for her. I told her sons it was their job to help her. About 3 weeks later, I saw them at the local market. I found out that her two sons had gotten jobs and were enrolled in college. I thought, “Jesus, if you can use me like that, I’m coming back!””

“Lois announced the opening of Feeding Hands at the church where we both attend. I had been helping at the Hillside foodbank, and I told her, “Let me know when you need help. I am available on Tuesdays.” I started the first week that Feeding Hands opened. I have been coming back ever since. That was more than two years ago. A year into it, the person who picked up Shop Rite’s produce gleaning on Monday’s moved away. She asked me and another volunteer to temporarily take that job. Sixteen months later, we’re still happily doing so… “temporarily” of course!”

“I feel like we’re here to serve God through serving others.”

“I am moved witnessing the increase in the confidence of our guests. They may first arrive dejected and depressed, and we watch the transformation. They come in now with smiles on their faces. They have dignity now. Then I see the changed guests bring in other guests. I watch them introduce their new guests to everyone, and hear them say how nice they are treated at Feeding Hands. It is great to be a part of this transformative ministry.”