A long-time resident of Highland Park, Dan has been volunteering at the Highwood Mobile Market for about a year. Reflecting on the impact volunteering at the pantry has had on him, Dan says the experience “puts many things in perspective.”
The father of two high school students, Dan’s volunteering has become a family affair. “I enjoy it, and I also bring my kids so they can give back directly to the community, to the local community,” says Dan. Growing up, Dan recalls that doing something for others, for your community, was mostly about giving money.
He’s quick to note that financial support is essential but also meaningful for him and an important example to set for his kids is to impact others directly. “To be able to give back is to make a difference, and there are plenty of ways to do that, and this is just one of them.”
Dan shares that he likes to put the neighbors at ease and sometimes greets them with a joke. He wants people to know no one is judging them, adding, “If they need help, they can have help.” To the delight of the kids visiting the market, Dan brings a bright red wagon to help neighbors easily transport groceries to their cars. The kids love pulling the wagon, as evidenced by the big smile that came across one boy’s face when he saw Dan.
“Seeing an organization that helps 300 families every week is pretty cool,” Dan says with a smile and a sense of awe. “When kids want to complain about something, I remind them about how rough things can get for people. That’s where the difference is made.”
For more information, Market dates, and to volunteer at a Highwood Mobile Market, click here.
About Highwood Mobile Market: Twice a month, Northern Illinois Food Bank distributes nutritious food to neighbors in the community facing hunger. Operating its Mobile Market out of the Fort Sheridan Metra Station parking lot, there is always a long line of individuals and families waiting to get milk, chicken, tortillas, potatoes, and other staples.