Archive for the ‘Volunteer Spotlights’ Category

Volunteer Spotlight: Lara M. in St. Joseph, Missouri

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Lara M. has long been the face of Bountiful Baskets in Missouri and Arkansas where she is the Volunteer Area Coordinator.  She went out on a limb driving quite a ways to train and get her food and now she has a Bountiful Baskets site right in her hometown of St. Joseph.  She is perhaps one of the kindest hearted most encouraging women to work with.  As all mother’s of nine must she has a kind word handy always.  We really appreciate that and bet you do too!

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?

Enough for a family of 11!

I first heard of Bountiful Baskets in the spring of 2012 and there were zero sites in my entire state.  It took a couple of months but I finally convinced my husband that travelling almost 3 hours, one direction, to another state to train would be worth our while.  We contributed for our first baskets in July, 2012 and have appreciated each and every one!

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?

Our city wasn’t aware of Bountiful Baskets at the closest site was 2-3 hours away.  I wanted the co-op and realized that to make that happen, I would have to bring it here.

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?

Obtaining healthy REAL foods to feed my family at a price that makes sense!

What is your favorite part about volunteering/running a site?

Meeting all my participants and sharing REAL food with them all.  I just LOVE when participants ask me how they can use an item they have never tried before but love it even more when they return to tell me how their lives are changing, in very positive ways, because of their participation.

Tell us a little about your site & your co-Volunteer Site Coordinator.

Our city graciously allows us to use the local Sports Complex and the folks there are extremely accommodating.  All the employees are welcoming and a couple have even become participants.

My back-up site coordinator is Connie Thompson, a long time area resident.  She always has a smile for our participants and a positive attitude.  I am blessed to have her to rely on!

What makes your site fun – or unique?

My volunteers!  It is often the highlight of my week to have that hour before pick-up to chat with them and talk about what we all enjoy: fresh produce!  We marvel over each and every case, talk about how we plan to fix things, and dream of what might be offered the next distribution.

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you or at your site during baskets?

Probably the day my grandson was baptized.  I had set the time for right after baskets but my phone rang non-stop during the entire distribution because the godparents had TWO flat tires on their way and had to turn around to get new tires which made me have to reschedule the baptism *in the middle of distribution.*  My AWESOME volunteers made it happen though and he was baptized later that evening AFTER I had time to return home and put all my yummy produce away!

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?

I haven’t had any but my oldest daughter has.  Numbers aren’t her thing and she once dreamed she kept putting out baskets but it was never the right number of baskets so she kept counting them over, and over, and over, and over, and….

How has BB changed your life?

The co-op has literally revolutionized how I feed my family.  I used to spend hours each week planning meals then elaborate menu plans and shopping lists to match.  Because of Bountiful Baskets, stepping into a grocery store is now an extremely rare occurrence!  We eat meat, and co-op produce, and not much else!  Yes, I do purchase a few staples from an online provider that ships directly to my home but those trips to the grocery that I had come to loathe are no more!

What do you do when you’re not doing BB?

I educate our children at home, run a local host site for a nationwide cloth diaper loan organization, and am an AVID knitter, spinner, and crochet enthusiast.

Tell us a little about your family

My husband and I have 9 daughters and one grandson who is the apple of his aunties’ eyes

If you could have 1 super power… what would it be?

To bi-locate so I could get more done!

How many baby elephants did you contribute for last April?

Zero, but my 10yo begged me to max on them.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I don’t think the average participant truly realizes how much of themselves Sally & Tanya have poured into this endeavor or how committed they are to the cause of benefitting families, one dinner table at a time.

Volunteer Spotlight: Carrie R. in Fort Morgan, Colorado

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Carrie R. is the newest addition to the Volunteer Team responsible for the awesomeness that happen at Fort Morgan Bountiful Baskets! There’s a team of seven that keeps this organized and fun site going throughout the year even when it is -24 degrees like today. We are so grateful to Carrie for all she does to help make the site run smoothly and make healthy food available to her community very affordably! Woot Woot for getting it done Carrie!

When & how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?
I started getting baskets in March 2013. I saw a flyer at the rec center and figured I would try it out. The produce couldn’t have been any worse than what I was buying locally.

Why did you decide to become a Site Coordinator?
I decided to become a site coordinator because Bountiful Baskets is something I believe in and if you want to keep something around you work it!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?
My favorite part of baskets is it’s like Christmas every week! You never know who is going to show up to volunteer and you never know exactly what your basket will contain!

What are your favorite basket items?
I am always get excited to see mangos! Well and everything really!

Tell us a little about your site?
We have so much fun at our site! So many great people come and we love to welcome new faces!

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you during baskets?
The first time I ran the site without Nicci I forgot to distribute the case ends! Thank goodness one of the volunteers noticed before I started checking people out!

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?
The weirdest basket dream I have had is that I forget how to count.

How has Bountiful Baskets changed your life?
Beyond the fresh produce, Bountiful Baskets has given me friends!!

What do you do when you’re not doing Bountiful Baskets?
When I am not doing Bountiful Baskets I am planning what to make with the products I have gotten from Bountiful Baskets. :) And totally rocking the stay at home mom gig I have!

Tell us a little about your family
I have been married for 17 years to (a very patient man named) Michael. We have 3 children. Emily 14 (who volunteers regularly) Michael 11, and Joslyn 7, and a dog too!

Volunteer Spotlight: Trisha S. in Herriman, Utah

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Trish S. – Volunteer Site Coordinator at Herriman Fire Station

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?

I first heard of Bountiful Baskets in 2009, on a couponing website. I started participating that Fall even though the closest pick up site was 15 miles away from my house. And I have been participating ever since.

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?

To be honest, I did it mostly to have a site near me! But also to be a part of something that brought so much to people’s lives. Healthy eating is important to me and I was always hearing people complain about how expensive fresh produce is. This solves that problem for people!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?

I love that just by contributing for a basket I have essentially automated the fresh produce in our home. I don’t have to really think too much about it. Just pick it up and then find great ways to use it.

What is your favorite part about volunteering/running a site?

I have really enjoyed getting to know our regular volunteers and meeting new people. I love it when we get new participants and they just look so excited when they come for their first pick up.

What are your favorite basket items?

Mangoes, Brussels sprouts, berries and asparagus.

Tell us a little about your site & your co-Volunteer Site Coordinator.

My co-Volunteer Site Coordinator, Mollie, and I take turns running the site each week and cover for each other for vacations and such. We also each volunteer when it’s not our turn to be the VSC. She and her family have become our friends and I look forward to the time we get to work together each weekend. We run our site out of a beautiful new firestation building right around the corner from my house. We have a nice indoor space in the Winter and a great outdoor space, in the parking lot, in the Summer. The site is in a great location where we can enjoy pretty sunrises every Saturday morning. And we LOVE our firefighter hosts, they are always asking if there is anything they can do for us. They are so accommodating.

What makes your site fun – or unique?

We have a really good core of regular volunteers who enjoy showing new volunteers the ropes. And we get to run our site in a beautiful building with a view of gorgeous sunrises every Saturday morning.

What’s the craziest or silliest thing that has happened to you or at your site during baskets?

We must not be very crazy or silly because I can’t think of anything. ha! I think our participants appreciate that we are friendly and get the distribution done quickly so they can get on with their weekends.

Any weird basket dreams you’d like to share?

I don’t have too many basket dreams anymore. I used to dream that the cases of produce were being unloaded and they just kept coming and coming and coming, like clowns out of a tiny car!

How has BB changed your life?

It has made adding lots of fresh produce to our diets a no-brainer.

What do you do when you’re not doing BB?

I am the committee chair for our city’s community garden. That keeps me busy during the summer. And I enjoy making art and spending lots of time with our large and growing family.

Tell us a little about your family

My husband and I have 7 kids. 6 daughters and a son. Five of them are grown and have families of their own. We have a dozen or so grandkids, with some fluctuation for our “bonus” foster grandkids.

If you could have 1 super power… what would it be?

Teleportation. I’ve got so many places to go and things to see and so little time!

How many baby elephants did you contribute for last April?

None. lol

Anything else you’d like to share?

We might not be as silly and goofy as some of the Volunteer Site Coordinator’s at sites near us, or our VERY energetic and delightful Volunteer Area Coordinator, but we really care about our participants and we try to give them a quick distribution and a friendly start to their Saturday morning.

Volunteer Spotlight: Heather S. in West Valley City, Utah

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The Valley Fair Mall Site of Bountiful Baskets is in West Valley City, new Salt Lake City, Utah.  Heather Shafer is so amazing and we would love to let you get to know her!

Heather S. – Volunteer Site Coordinator at Valley Fair Mall

When/ how did you begin participating with Bountiful Baskets?
I had heard about Bountiful Baskets several years back, but at the time, there weren’t that many sites, and I was unwilling to get up at 6:00 am and drive 30 miles to go get my produce (little did I know what I’d be doing a few years later!!) I started in February of 2011 when one of my neighbors shared on Facebook her Bountiful Baskets haul…I figured I’d look into it again, and thankfully there were more sites and closer to me! I officially became a VSC in June of 2013.

Why did you become a Site Coordinator?
I was volunteering almost every week anyway, so I figured being a Site Coordinator wouldn’t be *that* much more work! Also, one of the Site Coordinators was moving away and needed to find a replacement, so it just worked out!

What is your favorite part about Bountiful Baskets?
Oh my…what ISN’T my favorite part? Ok…maybe the getting up at 5:30am part, but seriously, Bountiful Baskets has great produce and their other products like the wraps, the bread and the oil are all such fabulous deals!
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