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Published for the volunteers of Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry

VolunteerConnections

VOLUNTEER NEWS AND EVENTS

Upcoming Events Tour of the Northern Illinois Food Bank SEPT 28 at 2:30 pm Volunteers will be carpooling. Please sign up to be a driver or rider on the volunteer bulletin board.

SAVE THE DATE: Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Friday, OCT 26th 11:30 am - 2:00 pm Vote for Volunteer Awards in gold box by volunteer time clocks

Volunteer Birthdays 9/1

Tom Moylan

9/2

Kathleen Galassini

9/3

Lena Williams Gerard Oleskowicz

9/5

Doreen Sevcik

9/7

Mary Elliott

9/12

Karen Riscos

9/14

James Rose

9/16

Susan McNeal-Bulak

9/17

Jenifer Brucks

9/19

Sheryl Geltner

9/20

Cheryl Wild

9/21

Kyle Prochaska

9/22

Ed Bulak

9/25

Julie Baker

9/29

Nancy Bankemper

September 1, 2012

Volunteers giving back It's not often people visit Kenya to build a house for a 17 year old supporting his family, paint hospitals, and donate money to schools so students can eat lunch. But that's just what volunteer leaders Jim and Patrice Lia and Bob Elazan did from July 18th to August 4th. "The trip was sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church, who is also a major donor at Loaves & Fishes," Patrice said. "The church got 13 people together to travel to Kenya this summer. We first traveled to the slums in Nairobi, where over 600,000 people live in just 5 square miles. It's just people and dirt." Jim said visiting Kenya was an amazing cultural experience. “We built a 10 x 20 foot house in four days for a 17 year old man who was taking care of an infant whose parents had died, his 10 and 13 year old siblings, and his 93 year old greatgrandmother,” he said. “His parents had been AIDS victims. When we finished the house and gave him the keys, the whole village came out to celebrate.”

Bob Elazan at right

Patrice, Jim, and Bob agreed that painting the Maua Methodist Hospital was an amazing experience. “We painted the maternity wing and bathrooms, and we threw a mixture of dirt, sand,

and water on the cinderblock walls to use as mortar in a new dorm for the staff,” Patrice said. “Then another man would come by and smooth it down, and when it dried it would look like the walls here.” Jim said they had some interesting experiences at a school for the deaf. “We went to this school for the deaf where we were supposed to be teaching them, but they taught us even more,” he said. “We learned some sign language there.”

Jim and Pat Lia

Bob, who has been to Kenya several times before and plans to go again, said it’s always a shock to see how poor some of the living conditions in Kenya are. "Kenyan people are so friendly, so welcoming, and so appreciative, and living there is so bad," he said. "There are kids without shoes walking five miles one way to school every day. They can't afford lunch for the kids at schools, and sometimes there is no water. They need it so badly. People complain about this and that in the United States, but they should see Kenya. There are people living on the ground. We cried. Our hearts broke for these children. There are kids dying from AIDS and malaria, and they have no parents. It’s so important to me. Appreciate what you have. You can’t complain when you see how badly some people live.” 

Did you know... Executive Assistant Elizabeth (Libby) Hoffman recalls being in a New York elevator at age 6 with Grace Kelly and Princess Caroline. “I could tell her coat and shoes were definitely cooler than mine.” At 13, she unsuccessfully tried to break the Guinness record for time on a pogo stick. Phil Donahue and Erma Bombeck were her childhood neighbors in suburban Dayton, Ohio. Libby began as a volunteer receptionist for Loaves & Fishes in 2010 before joining the staff later that year. She earned an MBA from Dominican University and with her husband, Jim, has 4 children, all past L&F volunteers.


September • Featured Volunteers Each month we will be featuring several of our volunteers. If you or your family have been volunteering for longer than six months and would like to be featured on this page, please contact April at volunteer@loaves-fishes.org.

Sheryl Geltner - volunteer since 2010, registration What do you do aside from volunteering? I volunteer at CASA, tutor math, and I used to be a substitute teacher. I also enjoy riding my bike, reading, and working out. What is something interesting about yourself? As a geology student in college, I spent 8 weeks in the Wyoming Bighorn Mountains mapping and identifying geologic formations and the history of the area. I also spent a week in Washington with my family this August, where we climbed Mt. Rainier and saw Mt. St. Helens.

Greg Umentum - volunteer since 2011, driver Why do you enjoy volunteering at Loaves & Fishes? I am fortunate to have done well. I want to give back, and I enjoy everyone here. It’s better than sitting at home! I travel 2-3 days a week from Lemont to Loaves & Fishes to pick up food donations from Jewel and occasionally Mayneland Farm. What is something interesting about yourself? I worked for a roof and sheet metal company for 41 years - 28 years as a superintendent. Never lost a day of work. I just celebrated my 41st wedding anniversary with my wife Mary. I used to participate in tug-of-war contests in Wisconsin, and that’s when I first met her. Later I walked down the aisle with her as her brother married my sister. We have one daughter, two sons and three 9-year old granddaughters with one more on the way.

Tom Klann - volunteer since 2009, forklift operator Why did you start volunteering? I worked in Chicago at the Chicago Food Depository, and when I moved to Naperville I wanted to continue that sort of work. I like the variety of people, the variety of work, and the good feeling of giving back to the community. What is something interesting about yourself? I just got married on May 12th, which is the reason I initially moved to Naperville 3 years ago. I’m also going to St. Thomas in November, where I’ll be doing a lot of snorkeling.

Marj and Jerry McIntosh - volunteers since 2010 and 2005 reception and distribution What are some of your hobbies? Jerry: I really enjoy gardening and churchwork. Marj goes to church a lot with me. Marj: My hobbies include reading, gardening - especially flowers- and cooking. What is your favorite part about volunteering? Jerry: I like the camaraderie of meeting new people and seeing the others who have been here since we were in the older building. I always wanted to do something like this after retiring. Marj: Upon retirement I sought activities that would be beneficial to mankind. Helping people is my favorite part of volunteering, which is natural after spending 33 years with the City of Naperville as a project assistant. Being of assistance to others is what it’s about.


Volunteers giving back