One might think cutting up more than 50 pounds of frozen chicken into small cubes would put a damper on anyone’s Saturday, but when the energy expended is to help those less fortunate, the thought of chopping frozen poultry is a lot less daunting.
“It was harder than I thought it would be,” said Project Cost Analyst Senior Kaitlyn D. “But realizing the end goal and the bigger purpose we were serving helped us to push through and keep working until we got most of it done.”
Darby was one of 14 AEP/Appalachian Power employees and family members who came together on a recent Saturday to volunteer at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. In addition to cutting up chicken, the volunteers served lunches, cleaned the dining room, chopped vegetables and carried trays for guests.
The day was capped off with employees making a $300 donation courtesy of the 2023 AEP Caring Together Volunteer Funding Program.
In addition to offering a free meal to anyone in need, the Rescue Mission provides free clinic services, shelter, a food pantry and recovery programs.
The three hours of volunteer work were bittersweet for some as they saw first-hand the uphill battle the Rescue Mission faces to feed those in need. Open 365 days a year, the Rescue Mission serves more than 600 meals a day. According to staff, community partners, local restaurants and other organizations assist with providing supplies, but there is always a need for more.
Distribution System Supervisor Rodney J. spent a few hours dicing garlic with his daughter, Chanell. He and his family routinely volunteer around the Roanoke area and really enjoy the feeling of helping to impact the community in a positive way.
“Besides what we do every day, volunteering is a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the community and support critical organizations such as the Rescue Mission,” Rodney said. “It is very gratifying to me and my daughter to learn new skills and experiences while working with such extraordinary folks both within and outside of our organization.”