Volunteering Through the Years: Peggy Holley
We are so grateful for the volunteers who have made our work at MOM possible for 40 years. To celebrate MOM's 40th anniversary, we're sharing a few stories from some of our most dedicated long-time volunteers. Here are some of Peggy Holley's memories of volunteering at MOM:
One day in the early 80s, I was at church at St Bernard's when an announcement was made that an organization was looking for a representative from each local church to join MOM’s Board. The purpose of the organization was to provide food and other services to those in need. St Luke's was the initiator of this program and they were located on Hubbard Ave. I served on the Board for about 2 years. After I left the board, I continued to help in the pantry. Back then, the volunteers actually packed the bags of groceries and each client would get one bag only. I don't recall any refrigerated items being available.
One of our earlier means of fundraising was the annual holiday cheese sale. At the time, I had a big old station wagon and I would drive to the cheese store/factory in Arena. I would buy cases of specially packaged cheese and load them in the back of the wagon. Each package consisted of 4 blocks of cheese: cheddar, Swiss, Colby and jack. It was perfect to sell before the holidays. In addition to all board members selling the packages, my dad used to take it to The Bank of Middleton and sell it in the lobby.
During this time, there was a second program called POP (Project for Older People). It provided rides to appointments for the elderly. I got involved in this and loved it. The face-to-face contact with clients was perfect for me and the clients were so grateful. I remember a woman named Mona. It was difficult for her to get out and about. One day, she gave me her credit card and asked if I would go to a specific store and pick out and buy 5-6 moo moo dresses. Then I could bring them back to her; she could try them on at home and I could return the ones she didn't want. It worked out perfectly. She was so happy and I was grateful that she trusted me with her credit card. There was another client, Ethyl, who I would pick up on a regular basis and I would bring my son. Every time, she would have homemade cookies for him. It was good for everyone. She loved the company, I felt it was rewarding to help someone and my son loved her and the cookies.
I had to stop volunteering due to going back to work full time. When I finally retired 25 years later, I had the urge to go right back to MOM. I now do data entry for the food pantry once a week. I also have a specific elderly couple I pick up every other week and take to the pantry. I host them as well since I'm their driver. I've known them now for almost 5 years and we have developed a bond. When I first actually saw the pantry, I couldn't believe It. It was actually a small grocery store with a refrigerator section. It had come a long way from a volunteer packing one bag of food for a family!
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