Hidden Successes: by Dick Auerbach, Volunteer ROOTS Delivery Driver

I have been a driver for the ROOTS home delivery program for approximately five years. ROOTS has been a special and unique experience for me, an opportunity to know my delivery recipients on a much more personal and in depth basis than is usually possible. Because one has the time and a one-on-one relationship, there is the window to be a good listener, show understanding and empathy, and perhaps make observations and learn of additional needs: information that can be shared with the Food Bank staff for suggestions or actions.

It has been meaningful and often amazing to learn that a large number of our customers have so many varied talents and successes in life, now hidden by unfortunate life circumstances.

One of my delivery customers, currently living in a single motel room, has his name on some well known country music as a composer and song writer. He talks with pride about those times and the artists who have recorded his music.

Another gentleman, who now uses a wheelchair, was a Special Olympic World swimming champion in the late 1980s. I just happened to see the newspaper article posted on his apartment wall. He beams when talking about the accomplishment.

Another customer is a very kind man, always looking out for his neighbors. He loves the small patch of dirt and a few flowers outside his motel room. So, last fall, he and I planted some raspberry bushs from the extras I had at home. This year he happily shared the berries with his neighbors.

I believe that this opportunity as a ROOTS driver serves as a reminder of the expression: “There but for the grace of god go I.”

Sometimes we are each dealt circumstances which take our feet from under us, a realization that tends to make one humble and also appreciative and understanding of what so many of our Food Bank customers are enduring.

Watch this video to see our ROOTS volunteers in action. 

Donate today to our 34th Annual Holiday Drive to help our local food bank raise $250,000 and 55,000 lbs of food for our local food bank. Click here to donate online. 


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