Barnabas Centre Nassau
May 6, 2020
April is National Volunteer Month, which is a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the contributions of volunteers and to encourage more people to donate their time to a local, national or global cause. This is a month to recognize the many people in the U.S. and Canada who give their time and resources to helping their communities. Now more than ever, people helping others is worth celebrating.
Four years ago, Mike Granucci began volunteering at Barnabas. He said, “Volunteering gave me something to do after being retired for 15 years.”
First, Mike was involved in Barnabas’ Callahan food distribution process. Then, he managed the kids’ meal pack program, which was feeding 250 school children who were at risk of homelessness each week but was facing a funding cut. At the same time, Mike was seeing an increased need for the meal pack program.
“I’m a Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise member and asked several members to join me in a task force to figure out how to reduce the cost of the meal packs and increase the distribution, ultimately feeding more hungry kids,” Mike said. As a result of their research and meetings, he and the task force volunteers were successful at lowering the cost of each meal and increasing the number of weekly meal packs to feed 335 children.
Mike and his Rotary Club connections is the perfect example of how volunteers can make a significant impact. Not only did Mike and his task force find a solution to enable Barnabas to feed more children, the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise awarded Barnabas a $10,000 grant to help with the purchase of a new truck for Barnabas food program and New to You Resale Store.
Mike explains how much he has gained by volunteering to help his neighbors in need. “I get a lot of personal satisfaction from talking with our food clients and hearing their stories. I feel great knowing I’m helping people,” he said. “Also, providing updates to my fellow Rotarians about Barnabas, and sharing the need for food in our community has deeply touched my heart.”
Barnabas is grateful to its many volunteers who generously donate their time and talents to improving our community. Last year, more than 200 active volunteers contributed over 19,000 hours of service to help individuals and families through Barnabas programs that include a food pantry, crisis assistance, medical, dental and the New to You resale store.
For information about Barnabas’ volunteer program, contact Kim Cherry, Barnabas Volunteer Coordinator at (904) 261-7000 ext. 118 OR [email protected] For more information about Barnabas’ programs, please visit www.BarnabasNassau.org.
Mike Granucci, long-time Barnabas volunteer and Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise member, helping a client acquire food at the Barnabas food pantry. *This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.*