One of the things we missed the most during the pandemic is the ability to go out into the community and volunteer our time for the causes that are important to us. Nunbelievable’smission is to help solve the hunger crisis, and in addition to donating a portion of our sales to our impact partners in this fight, we also like to roll up our sleeves and lend a hand on the ground. Thankfully those opportunities are (slowly) opening up again.
In March, we had the chance to spend some time at World Vision’s storehouse facility in the Bronx, helping prepare food boxes and hygiene kits to be distributed to those in need. We have always been inspired by the work of World Vision, an international humanitarian organization that fights poverty and injustice, especially among children and other vulnerable populations (including people with disabilities and those in refugee and other crisis situations).
The Bronx storehouse is one ofseveral World Vision facilities in the United States where food and supplies are received and prepared for distribution. “We take donations from large corporations and retailers and other organizations — they send us bulk donations — and then we distribute those products,” says Greg Glidden, the partner coordinator at the Bronx storehouse who graciously hosted a team of Nunbelievable staff members on our volunteer day. “They are school supplies, office supplies, household products like essential stuff for the home, outdoor stuff, furniture, small kitchen appliances, clothing, socks, etc.” Those supplies are then sent out to a variety of non-profit groups, including churches, homeless shelters, after-school programs, and organizations that work directly with people with disabilities, refugees, and immigrants.
The facility also has a teacher resource center, where educators can pay a small fee to have access to free supplies for their classrooms. This is especially important in the Bronx, where a high percentage of students come from households struggling with poverty, a situation Gidden calls “alarming and heartbreaking.” (According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than a quarter of the residents in the borough live below the poverty line.)
Though World Vision has been one of our impact partners for some time now, this was the first time we were able to volunteer with them due to health and safety restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. “Over the spring and into the summer last year we were not allowed to have volunteers because of the pandemic, so for three months we had nobody,” Glidden says. “That was a challenge. Most of our programs had to shut down because we couldn’t bring anybody in. So we pivoted to the emergency food kits. We partnered with churches and schools and they would identify the families in their area who were most in need.”
Now, as the crisis is slowly coming under control, Glidden and his team are welcoming back small groups of volunteers, who must follow strict protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining a physical distance. The Nunbelievable team put together boxes with food and essential supplies that could be distributed in the Bronx, as well as the rest of New York City, the metropolitan area, and beyond. “It is a big facility. It was incredible to see so many different things that they give to people in need,” says Maria Padilla, Nunbelievable’s social media associate. “It’s not just food — they give socks and hygiene products, they collect from a lot of different organizations and give to homeless people and shelters.”
As a national company, Nunbelievable works with impact partners across the United States. Because we are based in New York, it’s always a great feeling when we can serve in our own community. The pandemic has hit the Bronx particularly hard, with high infection rates, rising unemployment, and increased stress in the lives of the many essential front-line workers who live there. “Our mission is to do good, and being able to do that locally is very important,” Padilla says. “The Bronx has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. When most people think of New York City they think of wealth, the high rises, Central Park, the movies. But a lot forget there are people here who are struggling and in need, especially during the pandemic.”
Glidden welcomes new volunteers to come to the Bronx storehouse to give their time and gain a rewarding experience. He currently has shifts available on most weekdays and hopes to have more Saturday opportunities soon. “The big way people can help out is to come in and help us stock our shelves or build our food kits,” he says. For more information, you can call them (347) 343-4285 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t live in the NYC area, you can volunteer at one of World Vision’s other storehouses, including locations in Seattle and Chicago. For details, clickhere.
For more information on the inspiring work that World Vision does in the United States, visit their websitehere and follow them onFacebook,Twitter, andInstagram.
And if you’re interested in joining Nunbelievable on upcoming volunteer days, sign up for more informationhere. We look forward to seeing you soon!