Nancy Chen of Senior Gleaners is the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Volunteer of the Month for October 2021. She was nominated by Margaret Burton, the organization’s vice president. Senior Gleaners works to harvest and collect food that would otherwise be wasted and distribute it to those most in need.
Nancy has served as crew leader for the North County Senior Gleaners group for four years. Her team primarily picks citrus fruit from backyards, but also from orchards. The fruit then gets distributed to food banks, churches, temples, and community non-profits. Nancy is also a member of the weekly grocery crew, collecting and donating unsold groceries which otherwise would be thrown away. She is responsible for crew support and coordination and has trained more than 13 people this year to be new volunteer pickers or to help with administrative duties. Nancy has also assisted with finding new distribution sites for delivery in her area.
So far during 2021, Nancy has volunteered 165 hours of her time to Senior Gleaners and her group has collected 67,131 pounds of fruit, as well as thousands of pounds of groceries for donation. Nancy has been a pillar in her group welcoming new volunteers and inspiring others to step up to help. She is a friend to everyone in the organization and is often called upon for special projects. Her enthusiasm for the Gleaners mission spreads to other volunteers and to the resident donors she serves. Nancy is a positive role model for her group and a joy to be around. She is dependable, punctual, organized, and always gives 100% to any project or assignment.
Debbie Wismar, a member of Nancy’s team says: “Nancy is extraordinary...she is warm and welcoming, kind and intelligent. She shows her love of life both with her sense of humor and in her care of her wide community. She is the first to volunteer when she hears about a need, and she is a decisive, responsible and hardworking leader of our group.” Another team member, Marian Winandy, shares: “Nancy has been a welcoming beacon for new members and a dependable and cheerful leader for all. Our VIP Nancy makes our donation of time and gleaning efforts rewarding and fun!”
Nancy’s favorite part of volunteering is getting “great satisfaction for doing something good. It makes living worthwhile!” Congratulations, Nancy, and thank you for your service to the community!