Laurel Gray, from Senior Gleaners of San Diego County, is RSVP/SVA Volunteer of the month for June. Laurel is the Co-Founder of Senior Gleaners, a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers to gather and sites to donate food. He has been Chair of its Board of Directors for 24 of its 25 years, as well as principal spokesperson, delivering presentation to organizations throughout San Diego. Laurel saw a great need in the community as well as an opportunity to do something about it.
He knew that there were so many people in San Diego who were hungry due to lack of food, while there was so much food going to waste, in home orchards and stores around the County. Twenty five years later, this fully functioning organization relies on volunteers to pick and rescue good food that would otherwise be unused and delivers it to organizations that provide food to less fortunate people.
Laurel has used his leadership skills and driving energy to build this organization, enabling the efforts of over 70 Senior Volunteers to pick, gather and distribute over 500,000 tons of food a year. Laurel is a gentle but focused leader, who leads mostly by inspiration and dedication. He has a talent for painting the "big picture", in which even the smallest individual efforts make sense and are valued.
Laurel's favorite part of volunteering is presenting and interpreting the mission and work of the organization in public forums. He enjoys affirming and encouraging the work of other volunteers. Laurel gave the focus of his energy to creating and growing Senior Gleaners upon his retirement. It has turned out to be a 25 year post retirement career!
Congratulations Laurel, and thank you for being a leader in your community!