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Student Testimonials

October 2017

The summer of senior year of high school is normally a time for students to get their first job or internship, but I decided that it would be more worthwhile to spend my summer devoted to service towards my local community. Looking for organizations  to work with I stumbled upon Food on the 15th. I was amazed at how accessible and easy it was for me to become a Summer Diabetic Food Coordinator. With this responsibility I had to collect diabetic donations from my friends, families, and peers which were later donated to the senior citizens. At first, I struggled to reach out to people. It was a foreign concept to be asking people around me for donations. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone. But then it got easier to talk to people and I began to collect more donations and make a greater difference. Feeling as though I was making a real difference is what made me reach out to Julie Rosenthal and inquire about ways to continue Food on the 15th as the summer, and thus my position as a summer food coordinator came to a close.

With the changing of the seasons, my involvement also changed. I was selected to be the leader of starting Food on the 15th at my high school. Once again, I was pushed outside my comfort zone. For days after the taking on this new position of starting a whole new branch of Food on the 15th, I thought I was in over my head. But with lots of guidance I was able to start Food on the 15th as a club at my high school. Though the club is newly formed, I can already tell it will make a difference in both the community of senior citizens and the high school community. It will promote greater enjoyment of volunteering in the student body, while also bringing in more donations than I could have ever collected on my own time.

The rewards of joining Food on the 15th are innumerable. I have gained more confidence, I feel more connected to the school since I have started a club at my high school, I actually feel like I am giving more to the world than I am taking, and I know it has prepared me for any future leadership positions I may take on as I enter college and beyond. I have no doubts that everyone who volunteers for Food on the 15th not only gives back to their community, but also themselves. Thank you for all the opportunities you have opened my future up to!

In 2015, a student wrote about his experience as a volunteer for Food on the 15th:

            As part of my involvement in a non-profit organization called Food On The 15th, I volunteered to be a Summer Diabetic Food Coordinator. In this role, I led food drives to benefit low income senior citizens with diabetes.  I had a lot of responsibilities in this position. To start, I had to plan my goal and figure out how to achieve it.  I learned about foods that were diabetic friendly and created flyers asking people to donate those specific types of foods.  I also announced and explained the purpose of Food on the 15th to groups of people with whom I had contact.  For example, since I play in a band, I used our performances as one opportunity to ask audience members to donate.  After I collected the donations, it was my job to check and make sure they were diabetic friendly and not expired. Then, I sorted the food into bags and delivered them to the senior citizens in need.

            This experience taught me a lot of new things. First, I learned that in order to be a good leader, I had to be the one to take initiative. As the coordinator, it was my job to convince people to help out with the food drive.  I was also responsible for making decisions such as how to design and distribute the flyers, how to announce the drive, and how I should collect and deliver the food. Those who participate but aren’t in a leadership role don’t have to make so many decisions since they simply listen to and follow instructions.  Second, this experience significantly changed my perspective on people. I did not expect so many people to be so responsive to my requests to donate. Since I’ve seen many people ignore requests like this in the past, it surprised me to see people actually being so generous and giving so much to help others. Finally, this experience made me feel a lot more confident in my ability to influence people to do something helpful in order to achieve an important goal.