Helping and caring for others is an integral part of Winnie’s life and something that brings her great happiness. From taking care of her aging mother to volunteering to help shelter and feed the homeless with her church, giving back is an essential element of Winnie’s life. She knows the importance of understanding the situation of those she is serving and often goes the extra mile to offer them a more dignified experience. For example, instead of serving soup in a cafeteria style line to the homeless in the winter, Winnie’s church creates a more comprehensive experience including a multicourse meal that is served by volunteer waiters. Volunteers also eat with those coming for food and shelter, chatting with them and connecting on a human level.
Over the years Winnie has volunteered with PHC, she has seen the Mobile Pantry grow to serve more clients and include more healthy choices. She remarked that in the beginning, clients only received one paper bag of canned goods, whereas now they get upwards of 70 pounds of a mix of produce and non-perishables from Gleaners and Forgotten Harvest and veggies from our Urban Garden at NWAC when in season.
In her free time, she likes to sew and make customized gifts for her friends and family. Winnie credits her mother as her inspiration to give. While she asked herself, “why would I work so hard to give all my money away?” as a child watching her mother, she now believes that the more you give, the more you get back. Ultimately, what motivates Winnie to volunteer is knowing that she’s saving someone’s life, or even just putting a smile on their face.
A huge thanks from PHC to Winnie for all that she does in support of the community!