Nancy Chen, of Senior Gleaners, was nominated to be the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Volunteer of the Month for October 2021 by Margaret Burton, Vice President of Senior Gleaners.
Nancy has served as crew leader for the North County group of Senior Gleaners for four years. Her group picks mostly citrus fruit in Northern San Diego County primarily from backyards but also from sizable orchards of up to 50 – 200 trees. The fruit then gets distributed to food banks, churches, temples, community non-profits, pantries, and similar organizations. As well as running the picking crew, Nancy is also a member of the weekly grocery crew collecting and donating unsold groceries which otherwise would be thrown away.
Nancy has many accomplishments with Senior Gleaners, including crew support and coordination, making sure the process for the volunteers is run seamlessly all the way until distribution to the location. Nancy ensures the volunteers have all the tools needed for the pick. Nancy has also contributed financially to support gleaning activities. She has trained more than 13 people this year to be new volunteer pickers and assist with administrative duties. Lastly, she has assisted with finding new distribution sites for delivery in her area. In the year of 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.
Nancy says her favorite part of volunteering is “that she gets great satisfaction for doing something good. It makes living worthwhile”. She considers it a job. She says she loves the comradery she has with the group.
Debbie Wismar, a member of Nancy’s team says “Nancy is extraordinary in almost any measure of importance. 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.”
Nancy’s team member Marian Winandy said “For several years now 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!”
Congratulations Nancy and thank you for your service to your community!