This past Valentine’s Day, Springmoor residents spread the love by hosting their annual food packaging event for Rise Against Hunger, a global hunger relief organization that supplies food and aid to those in need. The senior living community in northwest Raleigh has partnered with the charity for nearly a decade, and it has helped provide more than 400,000 meals for people around the world.
Over the past few months, Springmoor residents, staff and family members continuously donated money to purchase supplies and also volunteered for the meal packaging event. This year, the community’s goal was to package 60,000 meals in just a few hours.
“Each year, we ask residents and staff to donate enough money to purchase supplies to package 50,000 meals,” said Julianna Lindenberg, Springmoor’s chaplain, who helped organize this year’s event. “This year, we were able to purchase enough for 60,000 meals because we raised a little more than expected.”
When Valentine’s Day arrived, the volunteers formed assembly lines, with each person adding one of the essential ingredients into the meal bags. The bags included enriched rice, soy protein, dried vegetables and a packet containing 23 essential vitamins and nutrients. By simply adding hot water, the recipient can transform the dried ingredients into a hot, nutritious vegetarian meal containing essential nutrients. Once the volunteers finished assembling all the meal bags, they packaged them into boxes and shipped them to Rise Against Hunger. There, the organization stores the bags until ready for distribution worldwide.
According to the Rise Against Hunger website, “one in three people worldwide are adversely affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Rise Against Hunger meals . . . are designed to provide a comprehensive array of micronutrients.” You can learn more about the meals and the entire process of how they’re purchased, packaged and distributed by visiting Rise Against Hunger’s website.
The love of giving
Volunteering, regardless of the organization or cause, not only helps those on the receiving end, but also enriches the lives of the people who contribute. It can give volunteers a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It can help build a strong sense of community, create strong relationships and improve self-esteem. Volunteering has even been shown to reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s a wonderful thing to donate money to help people in need, but if we can also encourage people to come together as a community and actually do hands-on work in some way, it strengthens the community and it strengthens all of us,” Julianna said. “We’re reminded of how very blessed we all are that we have plenty to eat and have what we need.”
No matter your available resources or abilities, just about everyone can give in a way that makes the world a better place. Even the smallest contributions can come together to create a significant impact.
“This is especially true for the people at Springmoor because abilities vary so much,” added Julianna. “To be able to still do hands-on work helping others gives everyone a sense that we are all still able to contribute. We can do much more together when we do it as a community.”
Springmoor has many opportunities for residents to volunteer in the community. Residents can join a number of committees that promote the betterment of life at Springmoor. Some of the committees include the endowment committee, food service committee, healthcare committee and more.
You’ll also find Springmoor residents volunteering with other organizations in the greater Raleigh community, including Read and Feed, The Clothing Ministry, the Community Music School, the Helen Wright Center, The Woman’s Club of Raleigh and the NC Questers, among others.
With so many volunteer opportunities, Springmoor residents often feel fulfilled by dedicating their time to causes they are passionate about. For more information on volunteer opportunities at Springmoor, give us a call at 919-651-4844, or visit us online to request your free information packet.