If someone asked you to give up your Saturday mornings for the next seven years, would you do it?
Not many of us would. Yet, that's what the tall, shaggy Scotsman Graeme King has done since he began volunteering with the nonprofit Food For All in Washington, DC back in 2007. Virtually every weekend since, he's been working with volunteers and helping deliver food to people who need it most in the nation's capital.
We first met Graeme about a year ago after finding his organization via our well-tested volunteer-search methodology. On that fateful Saturday and many since then, we've joined Graeme and fellow Food For All volunteers to bag and deliver groceries bound for people who aren't able to afford or can't physically travel to purchase food themselves. Food for All has become our 'go to' volunteer spot, and Graeme has taught us a lot about the dedication it takes to commit to a single organization each week.
Despite all the busy weekends, Graeme says he loves working with Food For All, which he does in addition to his day job as an IT Consultant at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
"When I showed up that first Saturday so long ago, I never imagined I'd be doing this every week," Graeme told us, in the thick accent of his Scottish homeland, "but I love the people I volunteer with, and it feels good to know I'm working with an organization that's making a positive difference in the lives of so many DC residents."
In addition to helping organize the Saturday volunteer events, Graeme also manages Food for All's website and social media presence, as well as recruit volunteers for the weekly grocery packing and delivery sessions.
We've spent many Saturday mornings with Food For All over the last year, and for us, the deliveries are the most rewarding part. Many of Food For All's "clients," live in some of Washington's toughest neighborhoods. Yet despite their surroundings, the recipients are some of the most gracious, thankful people in the city. We even get a few hugs on our Saturday delivery runs, a nice bonus to an already rewarding day. Volunteers have the opportunity to meet new people and see a new part of DC they'd never see otherwise.
"That's one of the things that attracted me to Food for All -- getting to know the people we're helping," King says. "Even if I'm having a tough week at my day job it gives me something to look forward to every Saturday.
For those interested in giving back, sign up to volunteer on the Food For All website. They can accommodate groups as well. It's one of the most rewarding things you can do on a Saturday morning in the District.
Plus, you get to meet Graeme.