Volunteer Nadine, I love people!

Meet Nadine, a spirited presence at Winnebago Community Market (WCM), whose dedication and enthusiasm infuse this community with joy and energy. “I love people; I love keeping busy and trying to stay young,” Nadine says with a smile. Introduced to the WCM by her granddaughter, Nadine has been volunteering for about 18 months. “My granddaughter was volunteering with her school and asked me if I would join her. I said absolutely! During her shifts, Nadine keeps the pantry’s bread and pastry sections stocked and organized and ensures the neighbors find what they want.

“Volunteering at the Winnebago Community Market excites me; I love it! I am so happy that my granddaughter got me involved in this. It’s me, I love people!” she exclaims. Describing this experience as “fulfilling to the max,” Nadine values her time at WCM, adding, “It’s impacted my life by seeing what others really, really need and how I can help them in whatever way I try.”

Nadine warmly talks about how many good, “neat people” neighbors and fellow volunteers she’s met. She encourages others to get involved in their communities and to find something they are passionate about supporting. To newcomer food pantry volunteers, she offers simple yet profound words: “This is going to be a fabulous experience. Keep a smile on your face, treat people the way you would wish to be treated, and love it. Just keep smiling.” Vibrant and compassionate, Nadine reminds us that many people carry heavy challenges every day that may impact their mental well-being. “A lot of people are depressed nowadays, so if you can offer a smile, people love it.” With a wry smile, she adds, “Or wear a fancy shirt,” gesturing to her bright yellow, heart-adorned Tweety Bird t-shirt.

Finally, when asked about donors who support the pantry, Nadine expresses gratitude: “Thank you for the hearts that you have. It fills my heart when I see those who have donated. It is so special, and it is precious.” Nadine’s story reminds us that we all can help build community and look out for our neighbors. Her energy and dedication to serving others inspire us all.