For a minute, stop, and read this blog. I am so thankful for my job as the Marketing Director for Insurance West here in Puyallup. Not only are my co-workers funny, totally cool and show the most outstanding customer service I've seen in a long time, I also get to do everything I love, and meet people who inspire me.
Today....today was a very humbling, inspiring and at the same time, a thankful day.
As many of you know, we have our Christmas Lights Display happening every night from 6-9pm here at our office. Along with our display, we are doing a food drive for The Puyallup Food Bank. I've had the upmost pleasure of meeting Karen Kiilsgaard, who is the Vice President of The Puyallup Food Bank one day at work. She is a friend of the owner, and when we put together our Holiday Lights Display, we definitely wanted to give back to the community, and Karen immediately came to mind.
We are collecting food during our office hours which are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and in our blue donation bin outside by our driveway after hours. Any donation is so much appreciated and thank you to those of you have donated already.
So why was my day humbling? Inspriing? And Thankful? With our Holiday Gifts of Kindness thank you's, today we teamed up with Volcano Coffee here in Puyallup. Volcano Coffee, located at 9909 168th Street E #101 Puyallup, donated a $25 gift card for the staff and volunteers of The Puyallup Food Bank and little did Karen know that while I was coming down for a tour of the Food Bank, I was offering a gift to show our gratitude to what The Puyallup Food Bank does for our community.
When I arrived at The Puyallup Food Bank, I met up with Karen and gave her the gift card. She was very surprised and was so incredibly thankful. And truthfully, so was I.
Karen began showing me around the warehouse. What I noticed rightaway truly wasn't the food, it was the staff of volunteers working with hats, gloves and coats on, rushing around getting everything ready for the individuals and families in need. Everyone was friendly, and kind.
We began our tour in the toy room. It was a toy candy store for families with children who are having a birthday or need help with gifts at Christmas.
I looked around and thought for a second of how excited these kids are for getting this opportunity. While they may not have the ideal situation at home, they are being cared for by a community that wants every child to share in some joy. And for another second, it made me wonder about the kindness these kids are receiving, and that in later years, they could pay it forward and donate because of how the generosity made a positive impression in their lives.
The Tour brought us to the entry way of The Puyallup Food Bank. There is seating and bread that the individual and families can have.
She explained how at noon, the families come in and begin the process of being checked in and offered items they need, such as toiletries, baby items and even pet food!
I even was able to meet a sweet volunteer that is a 90 years old lady! She was so spunky and literally just jumped in and began working! Karen and the sweet lady worked the counter where the individuals and families in need come in and get their dairy, produce and bags of food loaded with cans and other items to get them by for a little while.
Karen then took me out to the warehouse where I met a couple volunteers and saw how they put together the donated bags of food. I was shown the large freezer and pet food area! They feed 45 families a day, and a little more if needed. It is a very well oiled machine there!
The final stop in the warehouse was the donation door. Here, everything that comes into The Puyallup Food Bank gets weighed and sorted, and then put on the shelves for those in need. Karen told me how thankful she is to our local grocery stores who donate to the food bank on a regular basis.
I'm humbled by what I witnessed today. The care and thoughtfulness of our community to help those in need was beautiful. I'm inspired by the kindness I saw in the volunteers and how they are truly there to make sure people in need get what they can. Finally, I'm thankful for the time Karen took with me to show me what The Puyallup Food Bank does for our community. At a point, it even brought tears to my eyes.
Again, we are accepting food donations at our office Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, and in our blue donation bin outside our office during our Holiday Lights Display that comes to life each night from 6-9pm.
Please do what you can, as truly one can literally goes to an individual or family in need.
I appreciate your time in reading this blog, The Puyallup Food Bank now holds a special place in my life and I'm a better person for knowing Karen and being able to tour their facility.