“Sometimes it’s easy to walk by because we know we can’t change someone’s whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize is that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.” –Mike Yankoski, Under the Overpass
Marla St. Martin and her family have been generous supporters of the Freestore Foodbank for over ten years. However, in 2012 after reading Under the Overpass and speaking with experts like Bob Littmann, Associate Director of Client Services, Marla decided to see what else she could do.
She began to volunteer with different Freestore Foodbank programs, eventually becoming a regular and essential volunteer for the Cincinnati COOKS! culinary job training program and Back on Track, which provides clothing for job seekers.
In the past three years of volunteering Marla has learned a great deal. She explains, “The Freestore Foodbank is so much more than food. As you get involved, you see all of the different aspects.”
Marla’s experiences as a volunteer have shown her how a situation as simple as lacking the required boots for a construction job can keep a person from being able to get a job and move closer toward self-reliance.
What keeps Marla coming back and dedicating her time is “that feeling of making a difference. Being able to connect someone to exactly what they need.”
For Marla, the dual role of volunteer and donor has opened her eyes to new experiences and opportunities. She has learned she can support exactly what she is passionate about. The ability to put her gifts towards programs like Back on Track and Cincinnati COOKS! that speak to her the most makes giving an even more powerful experience for this volunteer donor.
Marla is an incredible example of how one person can make a large impact. With supporters like Marla, we know that together we can solve hunger.