Creating Community Through Volunteer Work
The holidays. For some, it means sharing food and old memories with loved ones. For others, it means looking for the opportunity to create new bonds and give back.
Seasonally, organizations like Our Daily Bread allow folks to do just that. At their downtown Cincinnati soup kitchen, volunteers serve food to those in need while a strong community is built between workers and workers, visitors and visitors, and workers and visitors.
A typical shift for a volunteer starts with orientation at 8:30 am, followed by meal prep and food preparation until it’s time to begin serving guests.
From 9:30 am to 11:45 am, guests are served lunch and offered unlimited helpings. Lunch is also provided to volunteers by the organization. And the more you volunteer, the better! Longtime volunteers look at Our Daily Bread as a family, with shift members referred to as "crew" and guests remembered on a first-name basis.
“A lot of [our] volunteers have just exited the criminal justice system and volunteer to feel productive and safe,” says Georgine Getty, Director of Operations
Our Daily Bread was founded in 1981 by Ruth “Cookie” Vogelpohl, who started a meal program at St. Francis’ school kitchen where she started off feeding about ten people. Today, close to 350 people are fed every day thanks to Ruth's generosity and vision.
With that many guests counting on Our Daily Bread for meals, volunteers play a big role in lending a helping hand to the community. Whether you’re volunteering during the holidays or in the off-season, there’s always a community waiting for you at Our Daily Bread. But consider planning ahead for these next few months. Not only are the holidays one of the most wonderful times of the year — they're also one of the most generous times and bring in the most volunteers.
The organization's belief in second chances runs deep through its halls. Our Daily Bread gives food a second chance by rescuing 200,000 pounds of safe food each year and turning it into nutritious meals. Second chances are also more obviously seen at Our Daily Bread in its lack of guest discrimination and even by the plates they eat from.
“We use real plates and silverware. We don’t want people eating off disposable plates because they’re not disposable," says Executive Director, Katy Schickel.
Our Daily Bread hopes to continue to have a place in our world, with a small part of it about the food, and a larger portion of it about the community: people getting to know one another – no matter the background.
For more information on Our Daily Bread, please visit: https://ourdailybread.us/ or call (513) 621-6364