The Volunteer Connection November 2017

Mediaon November 2nd, 2017Comments Off on The Volunteer Connection November 2017

There once was a gentleman who entered the doors of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center on Liberty Street looking for a suit and tie for an upcoming job interview, his first. The man had shared that he had never worn a suit or even owned one of his own, but this job interview was too important for him to go without. So the volunteers at Back on Track helped him find the perfect suit for his interview, and he was on his way.

A few days letter the man returned to the Freestore to share how his interview went. He was indeed happy to report that he had gotten the job. He went on to say that when he was walking down the street, dressed in the suit and tie, people on the street greeted him and many of them addressed him as “Sir”. He then went on to say that this was a big deal because he had never been called ‘Sir” before. He felt proud and confident, as if he would be able to do anything. He said that wearing that suit and tie motivated him to think and act in a way that would warrant respect. He was very grateful to Freestore Foodbank’s Back on Track program for the part they played in dressing him for success, helping him find the confidence he needed to interview for the job and start an exciting new chapter in his life.

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This story is just one of many that show the great work done by the Freestore Foodbank’s Back on Track program, and it’s also one of the reasons why longtime volunteer Rose Anderson gives so much of her time to this worthy cause. Back on Track, which is located on the 2nd floor of the Freestore Foodbank’s Customer Connection Center in Over-the-Rhine, exists to help Freestore customers do just what its name suggests, get their lives back on track with the help of donated apparel.

Though only open to customers on Tuesdays and Thursdays (from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) Rose along with many other dedicated Back on Track volunteers, are often seen working Monday through Friday to receive, sort, organize, and put out the ongoing donations that the Freestore receives almost daily. At any given time, Back on Track houses thousands of gently used garments of all styles and sizes, for men, women, and children alike. From t-shirts to dress shirts, blouses to blazers and everything in-between Back on Track maintains a constant supply of gently used clothing items that will suit just about anyone’s tastes and needs.

For Rose, who has been with Back on Track since her retirement in 2006, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house during the day and stay busy. “I just like helping people,” she says and with her help and others, Back on Track provides for the clothing needs of more than 4,000 customers every single year as they prepare for job interviews and work training, as well as in emergency situations.

So whether you’d like to be a volunteer like Rose who has extra time available to lend a hand, or you have an overflowing closet and would like to donate a few items of clothing, we hope you will consider getting involved with Back on Track, because who knows how a suit, tie, shoes, or a coat could change someone’s life for the better!

To learn more about Back on Track or how you can donate please call (513)357-4822. Want to volunteer with Back on Track? Please email our Volunteer Services Department at or call (513) 482-7550.

Check Out Hunger: November 16th – January 2nd
Help us check out hunger this holiday season at your local Kroger store.   Volunteers are needed to adopt a Kroger store and assist with maintaining the placards (coupon holders) and tear coupons located at each checkout counter and UScan station. This campaign gives customers a convenient way to give to the Freestore as they pay for their groceries.  This is a flexible volunteer activity and can be done on your own time. It’s a great way to get your family involved even with a full work or school schedule. Sign up today!  I’m a Check Out Hunger Volunteer

Rumble in the Jungle
31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive

Sunday, November 26th
We are teaming up again with the Cincinnati Bengals for the 31st Annual Bengals Canned Food Drive on Sunday, November 26th at Paul Brown Stadium.  Last year, food and monetary donations received through this event helped us to provide more than 71,000 meals to hungry children and families in the community. Join us as we tackle hunger with our favorite NFL home team!  Over 60 volunteers are needed to make this a game winning success.  I’m a Bengals Food Drive Volunteer

Holiday Food Box Distribution
Christmas Operations
December 20th, December 21st, and December 22nd
Volunteers make Holiday Operations happen each year at the Customer Connection Center! Over 1,000 volunteers are needed to complete various tasks allowing the Freestore Foodbank to distribute holiday meals to over 15,000 households for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Our Thanksgiving shifts are almost full but we have many openings for the days leading up to Christmas.  Come by yourself or with family, friends, and/or co-workers and help us provide a meal for families this holiday season. Holiday Food Box Distribution Volunteer

Become a Family’s Donor
Share in the spirit of the holidays by helping other families enjoy the season. Become a donor and purchase gifts for one of our Freestore Foodbank families that participate in our Housing, Direct Rent and Shelter Diversion programs.  Adopt – A – Family is an annual program that helps over 200 customers during the holidays. Your generosity will provide a great sense of value and worth to these families and clearly demonstrates in a meaningful way that others really care about them.  For more information about adopting a family or helping with gift purchases, please email: or call 513-720-6099.

Adopt – A – Family: Gift Wrapping and Distribution
Come help us bring good cheer to some of the families that we serve at our Customer Connection Center? We are looking for volunteers to help us prep and distribute gifts to the families participating in our Adopt-a-Family program. I Want to be an Adopt-A-Family Volunteer


Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

Check out the volunteer website page to learn how to sign up to volunteer for our ongoing group and individual volunteer opportunities at the Mayerson Distribution Center and Customer Connection Center’s Liberty Street Market.

Other Ways You Can Help

Donations of canned goods are needed all year around, not just at the holidays! If you
would like to organize a canned food drive, please contact Bob Barnes at 513-482-4517.

Thank you to the following groups for your support in October 2017!
We sincerely appreciate their continued support and contribution of their time.

Mayerson Distribution Center (Tennessee Avenue)

Advantage Solutions
Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Phi Omega
Bottom Line Systems
Chi Omega Alumnae: Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Cincinnati Bell
Cincinnati Kiwanis
Dunkin’ Brands
Ernst & Young
Executive Jet Management
Fifth Third
General Electric (GE)
GFP Kiwanis
Kerry Automotive
Lambda Chi
Lions Club International
Miami University
PNC Bank
Procter and Gamble
Redeemer Church
St. Columbian School
St. Margaret Knights of Columbus
St. Xavier High School
The Children’s Home
The Gathering
The Kenwood
The Physical Therapist Group
Tri-State Freethinkers
UC Track and Field

Giving Fields (Melbourne, KY)

Cincinnati Bell
Health Collaborative
La Salle High School
Miramar Services, Inc.
Seven Hills High School
Xavier University

Liberty Street Market (Liberty Street)

Hospice of Cincinnati
Image Solutions
Johnson & Johnson
Marsh & McLennan Companies