I’ve been volunteering for The Matthew Tree Project since the beginning of the year. It’s been incredibly rewarding plus I’ve met some amazing people along the way.
The Matthew Tree Project is a wonderful charity which strives to “empower and support people who have fallen into crisis, for whatever reason, to rebuild their lives and create a better, healthier, happier future.
My role as a volunteer is a food parcel packer. The charity states “The simple and compassionate act of giving people food on a weekly basis has created a safe and positive environment to build relationships and gain an understanding of each person’s circumstances.” I couldn’t agree more.
My usual volunteering day is Monday. This is a typical day.
I usually arrive at the warehouse at 9:30. Time to find out what the day will bring.
Coffee in hand and the day is already looking nice and busy. Drivers are loading up ready to take the parcels out into the community. More are on the way with fresh donations.
The happy, bustling scene is very capably supervised by the lovely F. F asks me to work the ambient section today as A is working on vegetables. Every service user gets a vegetable box and an ambient parcel as well as bread and meat.
I cheerfully take up my ambient station. Just call me the baked bean queen.
The first thing is to check over the list. Just like in the kitchen the list is the law. It contains all the information I need, names, addresses, number of adults and children, pets and any special requests.
So list consulted. And all my labels cut out its time to get to work. I get stuck into packing up my boxes.
10 am and I’ve got into a good rhythm. Label. Pack. Weigh. ( All the food is weighed on the way in and out). Record.Stack. I do three or four boxes at a time.
10:30 A arrives and takes up the vegetable station. F informs him we have plenty of lettuce and swede this week.
There is a lot of ebb and flow in the donations we receive. My ambient station is looking sadly a little bit empty today. I do the best I can with what I’ve got. I potter on nicely.
11am a van outside. Hooray, it’s the supermarket donations. Getting new donations is always exciting. You never know what’s coming in!
Well there are always Cheese and Onion flavour Discos. Evidently someone doesn’t like them as we receive a steady supply.
As well as the Discos there are tins of soup, rice pudding and custard. Excellent. Much needed. Jars of pasta sauce. Thank you so much. I just gave out the last one. Some Easter eggs. Always nice to give the kids some treats.
After being weighed all the new donations need to be date checked and put away. F makes a start on this whilst I finish packing the boxes.
12 midday. Boxes all packed. Phew there were a fair few today. Luckily I could give pretty much everyone at least some of what they asked for.F and I finish checking and putting away the new donations.
12:30 All done! A satisfying morning’s work as always. I’m looking forward to next week but now it’s lunch time. Monday lunch is the best one of the week!
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