Spokane transplant passes 100-hour mark as volunteer

Lisa is new to Spokane, and one of her favorite things about the Lilac City so far is the time she spends volunteering in the warehouse at Second Harvest. She’s at the central facility on Trent Avenue once a week, sorting produce and helping with food drives.

“I just passed 100 hours, it’s very exciting,” she said, smiling. “My favorite thing is sorting the Bite 2 Go bags on the weekends. It just breaks my heart that there’s so many kids [who don’t have food].”

Lisa moved to Spokane two years ago. Her brother relocated to the Pacific Northwest for a job, and Lisa and her parents soon followed from the Los Angeles area. She didn’t know anyone in the area, and thought of volunteering as a way to make new friends and get to know the community.

“I was looking for something to do in the area. Second Harvest made it really easy to volunteer. I was trying a bunch of different places and this was the easiest and the best.”

Lisa likes volunteering in the warehouse because it’s easy to start and there isn’t a long commitment. She can come and go when she pleases and do shifts when her job schedule permits.

“Here you just give what you can and come when you can and that’s really welcoming, especially as a new volunteer,” she said.

Lisa also said she loves being able to schedule shifts and cancel them via Second Harvest’s website. Her only problem is a good one; she has to schedule her shifts far in advance, because the activities are so popular they fill up quickly, she said.

One thing she would change, Lisa said, is a perception among some in the community about who uses Second Harvest’s services. “I wish people knew everyday people use it. I think people think it’s just a certain group. It’s still kind of a hidden problem.”

Lisa plans to be a volunteer at Second Harvest for a long time. “I hope to keep volunteering for the long haul. It’s my time to do something not for myself. I can’t imagine not doing it.”