Helping Hands: Volunteers of the Quarter
Second Harvest Community Food Bank would like to congratulate Volunteer of the Quarter Bob Moore.
Bob has been volunteering three days a week for a little over a year. Bob was invited to come to Second Harvest to take part in the Behind the Boxes program. This experience led to Bob helping with the Backpack Buddies program. After school was out, Bob moved into helping out in Harvest House, our onsite pantry. You can truly tell when a person enjoys what they do and with Bob it is very clear.
“I really enjoy the people I work with,” Bob says. “I enjoy the camaraderie; it’s almost like a family.”
When asked what is the best part about working in the pantry, Bob says he enjoys seeing the impact of what he does. “They really appreciate what you are doing; it’s a great joy to see people getting food.”
Bob was very surprised to find out he was selected to be the Volunteer of the Quarter. He says he had no indication he’d been selected.
For the staff and fellow volunteers, choosing Bob as the Volunteer of the Quarter was an easy decision. “Bob is such a wonderful guy,” says a Second Harvest employee. “He’s a hard worker and a joy to be around. He always has a kind word.”
When not volunteering with Second Harvest Bob also enjoys beekeeping. He is always supplying the staff with fresh honey. “We always enjoy the days he brings in honey,” says a Second Harvest employee.
Bob’s wife Janet is also a regular volunteer at Second Harvest. The duo are truly an inspiration to others.
Second Harvest Community Food Bank is proud to announce Jerry Murphy as the Volunteer of the Quarter. Jerry has volunteered at Second Harvest since April 2011. He volunteers three days a week, working in Harvest House, the on-site food pantry.
“Jerry is a wonderful volunteer,” says a Second Harvest employee. “He is always ready to help in any way he can in the pantry. He also helped deliver Backpack Buddies the last three weeks before school was out. Great guy!”
Not only has Jerry quickly gained the respect of the Second Harvest employees, he’s also gained the respect of fellow volunteers. “Jerry hasn’t been with us very long, but he’s stepped in and went to work. He never refuses a job, no matter how displeasing. He is great to work with. He keeps things lively and is great with the clients.”
Jerry grew up in St. Joseph and began working at a movie theater when he was only 9 years old. When the owner of the theater found out Jerry was up for adoption, he decided to become Jerry’s father and adopted him.
In 1959, Jerry joined the United States Marine Corps and served until 1964. Jerry was in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis and he acted as an advisor in Vietnam prior to the Vietnam War.
When Jerry talks about his time in the Marines, he often mentions President John F. Kennedy. “Mr. Kennedy saved my life,” Jerry says. When Jerry was in Vietnam, things became violent so President Kennedy deployed Delta Force to rescue Jerry and his fellow Marines. Later when Jerry was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he had another brush with the president.Kennedy was visiting the base and wanted to go for a walk without the Secret Service. Of course, Kennedy wasn’t allowed to walk alone so Jerry was assigned to escort him around the base. “We walked for over an hour. He asked me to call him John, not Mr. President.”
After leaving the military, Jerry worked in security and as a private investigator in Michigan and St. Joseph. He also worked for BMS for over three years. Today, Jerry enjoys volunteering at Second Harvest and doing leatherwork.
“I like helping people,” Jerry says. “I encourage others to volunteer as well.”
Norm Steidel is the Volunteer of the Quarter at Second Harvest Community Food Bank. Norm is the type of person you can’t help but like. If you walk into Harvest House, you will find Norm helping clients with their food items and cracking jokes. “I started volunteering at Harvest House to get out of the house and away from the wife,” Norm jokes. It’s that levity that makes Norm so endearing.
Norm has volunteered at Second Harvest for the past 15 years. During that time he has helped in Harvest House, prepared food boxes, sorted food and shared his sense of humor with clients, employees and other volunteers.
“It’s fun to volunteer at Second Harvest,” Norm says. “I know the names and faces of all of the people that come through Harvest House. We give each other hugs. That’s one of the benefits you get volunteering here. You get hugs. I actually have started a contest with another volunteer to see who could get the most hugs. I normally get 14 to 15 a day and so does he.”
Norm is not only a champion at hugging, he is also very handy with a hammer and nails. Norm recently took it upon himself to make it easier for clients to move in and out of Harvest House by adding a piece of wood to the pantry’s exit door. Before the piece of wood was added, it was very difficult to push grocery carts in and out of the pantry.
Norm is a lifetime resident of St. Joseph, Missouri. He has been married for 58 years and has four children, 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Norm served in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1951 to 1957 and in the Army from 1957 to 1959. After Norm got out of the service, he entered the workforce. He worked for Gray Manufacturing for 24 years and retired in 1988.
Norm is a truly genuine person who has a warm smile for everyone he meets. No one is more deserving of this honor than Norm Steidel.
Donna Kneib has volunteered at Second Harvest Community Food Bank for over ten years. Each week, Donna helps with Harvest House, the food bank’s on-site food pantry. Donna takes pride in her work, doing everything from sorting food to stocking coolers.
“I don’t like food displayed in boxes, so I carefully arrange it in the bins,” Donna says. “Harvest House is like a grocery store for people who can’t go to the store. They should be able to pick what they want. It’s important they have choices.”
Donna is retired but she chooses to dedicate her spare time to helping others. “I can’t describe the joy I receive when I get to work at Harvest House on Fridays,” Donna says. “People are so appreciative and say so many kind things.”
Donna feels lucky to be able to volunteer at Second Harvest. Four years ago, Donna was in an accident and had to have two seven-inch rods placed in her back. “My accident was a driving force,” Donna says. “Volunteering at Second Harvest is a little way I can pay God back for my life. I shouldn’t be here today.”
Donna was humbled when she found out she was the Volunteer of the Quarter. “I didn’t know what to say,” she says. “Others in Harvest House need to be recognized too. We work together as a team.”
Donna is originally from Bethany but she’s lived in St. Joseph for 56 years. She’s married and has four children, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.