The Life of a SACA Delivery Driver

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The Life of a SACA Delivery Driver

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As you may or may not already know, our school’s National Honor Society partners up with SACA, a local food shelf, for a volunteer program called “SACA Delivers”. The program began last year with a handful of juniors and seniors from Blaine’s NHS. The goal of the service program is to deliver grocery items to homebound elderly who are not able to go to the store and pick out their groceries on their own. The following is my personal experience as a member of the SACA Delivers program.

Last fall, shortly after NHS’ annual Trick-or-Treat Food Drive, Mrs. Wewers, one of the NHS advisors and a social studies teacher at BHS, announced that the Blaine chapter of NHS wanted a few students to volunteer at SACA to deliver food to the elderly. I was on the fence about signing up until she said that the deliverers worked in pairs and that you should sign up with a friend. One of my friends, Nathan, turned to me and said we should sign up to drive together. It sounded like fun, so I agreed and we were the first to put our names on the list. Just a couple weeks later, Nathan and I drove down to SACA for our first time. When we got there, I recognized some of the other volunteers, but I had never really talked to any of them. John, our amazing advisor over at SACA, introduced us to SACA’s delivery program. He taught us how to pack boxes full of grocery items and how to read the menus so that you added exactly what each senior wanted. Each driving pair had their own route of 6 seniors that would remain the same each month. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, the consistency of my route allowed me to form lasting relationships with each of my seniors. Before I knew it, the end of the year came and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. Nathan and I signed up to deliver in the summer as well. It was a pretty big commitment, but not in an overwhelming sense. We only deliver on the second wednesday of every month; one day a month is easily doable.

Nathan and I delivered throughout the summer and into this year. Once the summer deliveries had been completed, a lot of people from last year came back to deliver again this school year. John was so excited to tell us that we were expanding the program this year. We doubled the amount of routes we deliver to and gained quite a few new volunteers. This semester we have 37 volunteers and 14 delivery routes. We now deliver approximately 3,000 pounds of food to over 80 homebound seniors! I was promoted to Logistics Coordinator; the other seniors on their second year at SACA were promoted to leadership roles as well. As Logistics Coordinator, I’m in charge of making sure the other volunteers are on task and have the materials they need to be successful at said task. I’m also responsible for directing the flow of traffic down the box packing line and making sure all the seniors get their special requests packed in their boxes. Now that I’ve been working with them for two years, I get along great with my fellow volunteers; we all have a pretty good time together packing boxes and jamming out to the playlist John made based on our musical preferences. You’d really be surprised how diverse the playlist is. Though the relationships I’ve made with my peers are truly amazing, they pale in comparison to the relationships I have developed with my seniors. I’ve gotten to know a lot about their families from stories and pictures; I’ve become best friends with a couple of my clients’ dogs. I’ve even discovered that one of my clients was an absolutely amazing chef in her day; she allegedly beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown.

There honestly is no volunteer opportunity at BHS that tops SACA Delivers. lt meets my hour requirement for NHS without making me feel overwhelmed. Now that I am participating in SACA Delivers as a senior, it counts as my leadership project as well. I get to volunteer and hang out with some really fun fellow NHS members, and I get to form lasting relationships with homebound seniors that I can really learn a lot from. With the SACA Delivers program, I get to experience firsthand the impact I am making in not one, but six people’s lives in my community. In my time at SACA, I have personally delivered 81 boxes containing 2,969 pounds of food to 10 seniors and will surpass 3,000 pounds by the end of this year. I am also giving them a definite social interaction every month; these seniors are homebound and cannot get out to interact with their families, friends, neighbors, etc. By coming to them with a box of food, I’m able to strike up conversation and spend time with them that they don’t get with others that often. It truly is fulfilling to know the difference that I am making in each one of their lives. For this reason, and so many more, I highly suggest volunteering at SACA.

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