Volunteers ARE The Open Door. There are anywhere from 70-150 people volunteering on any given day at The Open Door across our on-site food pantry, Mobile Pantry sites, and in the summertime, our Garden to Table Program and Mobile Lunchbox Program. We wouldn’t be able to feed roughly 14,000 individuals every month without the dedication of our volunteer corps.
Some of those volunteers have been here since the very beginning of The Open Door (before we were even called The Open Door!), and we want to showcase them in this Legacy Volunteer Spotlight. They’ve helped with events, held roles on our board and committees, assisted clients with food selection when we were operating out of the basement on Rahn Road, and so many other things.
Thank you to these incredible, dedicated, and invaluable volunteers. To see Legacy Volunteers – Part One, visit theopendoorpantry.org/the-open-doors-legacy-volunteers-part-one.
Volunteer since 2005
I started volunteering at the pantry in 2005 and I’ve been volunteering there ever since, through all the name and location changes. My greatest joy was doing the Holiday Gift Shop for our clients for 9 years! I love The Open Door!!! By volunteering there I am blessed by being a blessing to those we serve.
It’s a joy to be able to help people in need and to see their gratitude. Many of our clients have been coming here for years and have become our friends. I really like to refer to them as our guests.
Volunteer since 2009
Several years ago I did some volunteering with a food shelf at my church and enjoyed it. When I retired I was looking for something to do and there was an article in my church bulletin that the Mobile Pantry was in need of volunteers. I remembered my past experience and thought this would be a great opportunity to get involved.
When I started with the Mobile Pantry we had a small space and eventually doubled in size, and we just continue to grow. It’s going to be exciting to see where TOD is down the road, in 2 years? 5 years? And to be part of its growth.
Joy & Bill Korte
Volunteers since 2008
What’s your favorite TOD memory?
Bill’s favorite memory is the day that he and Lisa found the new space for distribution, The Pantry. He and Lisa Horn, then Executive Director at the Open Door, went for a ride one afternoon and happened to spot an open retail space. The Board quickly approved the lease of that space and the first expansion was underway. No more running up and down steps and the clients could now do their own shopping!
My favorite memory (Joy) is the distribution of Mobile Lunchbox. There was always one child at each stop who warmed our hearts! Special memories include remembering how the grandchildren participated in some Open Door activities, having their eyes opened to how many have needs.
Volunteer since 2009
What keeps you coming back to volunteer at The Open Door?
I still feel it’s a way to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s not just the people who get the food and household items I pick up [during food rescue shifts], it’s also the employees and vendors I interact with at Target and Cub. I also really enjoy interacting with all the Open Door employees and volunteers.
What are you most excited about for TOD’s next chapter in the new building?
Interacting with more of the staff, or maybe it will be seeing people coming in to get food items (something I haven’t seen since we were at the Lakeville Mall).