Every year in January, Americans across the country join together to complete service projects in honor of Martin Luther King. Though OPI has regular monthly community service events, we decided to join in on the MLK Day of Service for 2017.
This year we volunteered with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and had a fantastic time. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank sources, acquires and distributes food throughout Los Angeles County with the goal that no one in Los Angeles goes hungry. I love the collaborative nature of our events and this event was no exception. After a brief orientation, groups were divided amongst the different tasks which included inspecting, sorting, categorizing, and packaging food and beverage items. Together we worked with over 13,000 pounds of food which will make 11,000 meals. It was amazing to see the progress of our work throughout the day and know that we positively impacted our local community, acting as a force of change.
The best part of my day was getting out of the office and working towards a shared goal with my OPI Family. I especially love hearing all of the stories after the event and being able to share joy with our team of participants and staff. Here are some things that staff and participants had to say:
“I felt it was awesome and it made me feel good for the rest of the day knowing I contributed to helping feed families that might not be able to afford food. “
“I like seeing OPI coming together and doing something great for a common goal.”
“I thought it was fun and interactive. I also felt like you could see your progress and we got a lot done. I felt really accomplished.”
“The community service project at the LA Food Drive was fun, well organized, and fueled by team work. The staff there were helpful, friendly, and easy to approach with questions. It was hard work, and very rewarding. There were groups of teams working on various areas: checking labels, checking packaging, organizing, and packaging – “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together” – Vincent Van Gogh I had a great time!!”
“I’ve never volunteered before and it was a really rewarding experience – especially after hearing how many meals we had put together. It was also nice to work with the participants and spend time with them outside of the office.”
“It was a really neat experience for staff and participants to come together to work on a big goal. When our table started we had a HUGE box of goods to sort that seemed endless, but we came together as a team and found our groove. We each took on roles that helped us work seamlessly. We turned into a sorting machine! It felt great to have such cohesive teamwork – and in the end OPI made 11,000 meals! I couldn’t believe it. The hard work was worth it.”
Check out some pictures showing our team doing a variety of tasks.
To further connect our event with the day of service, staff and participants had the opportunity to contribute to a video montage titled “I have a dream…”. This was an awesome experience as it allowed for some fun conversations at the same time as bringing up more serious issues.
Since the event was so successful, we plan to visit again later this year.