Meet Olga – wife, mother of three, avid church-goer, Union County resident of 10 years, and Common Heart volunteer of four years. Sound normal? She is anything but.
Five years ago, her family’s home burned to the ground. Now, her husband works as a mechanic and their two oldest children work at the Hilton hotel to pay for classes at CPCC. Olga has been unable to find work with the exception of occasional odd jobs. They don’t make much.
Why would a family without extra resources regularly volunteer at a food pantry? “[After the fire] we were left with nothing. We understand what it feels like to have nothing,” Olga explained.
Empathy and compassion brought Olga and her family to Common Heart after hearing about the organization in church and on the radio. They began delivering groceries, clothing and furniture to other Spanish families in the area through Common Cupboard.
But she and her family did more than make deliveries. They stayed and talked. They formed bonds that have blossomed into lasting friendships.
Olga said that volunteering is not only for the people on the receiving end. “It caused our family to work together. It was good for my children who now work with poor people in college,” she said. “We are thankful for Keith and Deb for giving us the opportunity to serve because it is for God.”