The overwhelming friendliness and positivity within the Northwest Harvest organization is unlike any I’ve encountered in all my employments. To me, this says two things: Not only is Northwest Harvesteffectively supplying food to people who actually need it, but every employee here knows this and takes great pleasure in their work because of it. The amicable workplace environment is coupled with an underlying desire to see the organization succeed. Consequently, I’m not surprised that my first week has consisted of bouncing from meeting to meeting, with a daily hour or so of volunteer work. 

My first day I worked the sandwich line, essentially the spearhead at Northwest Harvest’s Cherry Street foodbank. In addition to general positivity among Northwest’s employees, the clients were respectfully appreciative of our work as well. About half the clients thanked us personally, specifically commending us for our patience or simply acknowledging my ‘sexy apron’. In my experience, a 50% thank-you rate is incredible: I was never once thanked as a volunteer EMT, and only very rarely as a paid EMT. It really says something when the foodbank clients, many of whom are homeless or with some kind of mental illness, think to acknowledge our work, while in both emergency and non-emergency medical situations, very few people express gratitude.

Nevertheless, I can comfortably say that the overall good-feeling at Northwest Harvest is infectious; never before has it been so easy to wake up at 6am on a daily basis.

Kevin Mauro
Duke Student '15

07/01/2013 12:10am

Thanks for the insight into your experience at NWH. Your time there sounds incredibly rewarding, and the community nothing short of wonderful. Your last sentence stuck with me in particular -- it really takes a lot to wake up that early in the morning every day. I've also had to wake up at 6AM each morning, but I too haven't had much trouble because I look forward to the work I do each day. I'm glad that I'm not the only one having to wake up that early and that we're both having fulfilling experiences at our non-profits.


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