Vina Yang: MOM Volunteer for 25 Years!
by Megan Hanson, Volunteer
In 2018, MOM served 51,600 individuals in the West Madison and Middleton-Cross Plains areas, distributing 1.3 million pounds of food and 121,000 pounds of clothing. That’s a big impact, but it’s important to remember that we weren’t always able to serve so many. Few people remember it, but 25 years ago the MOM food pantry was a single room in a church basement. It took decades of hard work from our dedicated staff and volunteers to help MOM become the essential community resource it is today.
Vina Yang is one of those who remember MOM in its early days. She’s been volunteering in our food pantry for more than 25 years. We reached out to Vina and asked her to share her experiences as one of the longest-running volunteers in our organization’s history.
When did you start volunteering at MOM and why?
“Back in the day, I worked in this little room in the basement of St. Luke’s Church. That was more than 25 years ago, probably. It was just getting started then … there wasn’t an organization like MOM in the community yet. The room was so small, that when people came to visit, we had to pick out the food for them. They couldn’t fit inside! I’ve watched it grow over the years and when I go to the Food Pantry now, it’s fun for me. It’s huge and I always see new products.”
Are there any moments that stand out from your time as a volunteer?
“You know, the purpose is serving people who need it. I find it satisfying to provide that service, and the whole system works well. I’m originally from Taiwan and it’s very populated there with a lot of homelessness. I don’t know if the MOM system would work there, but here, people understand the purpose.
“There have been times when there has been high unemployment. People come to get food and clothing items, and it really helps. You know, when you lose a job, you still have to pay rent, you still have to eat, and MOM helps. I’m really proud of the organization.”
What motivates you to continue to volunteer?
“Well, I enjoy the situation with my co-volunteers. Both the pantry and clothing center are very organized. They do a really good job, and I enjoy the environment. When I volunteer, I feel like I belong to the community and I’m helping others. I like seeing people and being around different personalities, that’s what keeps me going.”
What would you say to someone considering a volunteer position with MOM?
“I would say go for it. Volunteer times are flexible and you can sign up online, which is very helpful. It’s usually busy and people are friendly. Try it out!”
MOM is always looking for more volunteers to help us continue to grow and serve the West Madison, Middleton, and Cross Plains communities. Will you join us? View our volunteer opportunities today!
Please correct the validation errors above.