Service with a Smile! Thank you Bruce
“Since the early days of the pandemic, Bruce has been volunteering with The SEED as a Delivery Driver, delivering groceries in our refrigerated van.” says Madeline Barber, Community Resources Coordinator at The SEED. “Bruce comes at least once a week (usually even more) to take the food from our community food warehouse out to people’s homes in Guelph-Wellington.
“I am a Rotarian with (Guelph Trillium Rotary Club) for just over 30 years and our Rotary motto is “Service above Self”, says Bruce Folkard. “At the inception of COVID-19 we had a request from SEED for help with distribution of groceries for some residents in our community. I applied to The SEED to drive and found out how important the distribution of nutritious healthy food was needed at this time. Now, it has become a joy for me to set aside 2 afternoons twice a week to help others” shares Bruce.
Bruce’s belief in service and his kindness in action is inspiring. “His service-with-a-smile and high reliability have been so important to our ability to get food to hundreds of community members who otherwise wouldn’t have access. He has logged over 500 hours on our team in just 1.5 years.” says Madeline.
The need and access to healthy food did not stop in the face of COVID-19. In the face of the unknown of a global pandemic, volunteers like Bruce answered the call to action. An active community member who enjoy enjoys activities such as curling and golf, the pandemic was a challenge for many including Bruce where community involvement and volunteering was a lifeblood. Bruce was compelled to help, and it helped him. “Sitting at home during COVID-19 being willing and able to do something for others, SEED filled this need for me” says Bruce.
“My volunteer experience has been awesome” says Bruce, “it has been made so easy as a result of The SEED staff and other enthusiastic volunteers. What a team! I invite anybody who has thoughts about volunteering to come and join us for a few hours a week to meet some new friends and have FUN!”
The feeling is mutual. Madeline shares “as a driver, Bruce is super friendly, diligent, and enormously flexible, working around his schedule to prioritize his volunteering. He is a great ambassador for The SEED and the role, having trained many new delivery drivers as we’ve scaled up.”
Bruce knows how vital this service is to our community and when asked why food access matters, Bruce says “We’re all in this together.” His gift of time and friendly manner makes an impact in the community and has for Bruce. “I made a delivery to an elderly lady living in her own home at the start of COVID-19 and she was so amazed that we were there for her. I left her groceries at the doorstep. There was no personal contact, but she spoke to me through her bedroom window and just kept saying ‘Thank you, thank you, and God Bless You.’ That just made my day!
According to Bruce, the best part of volunteering is “helping others.” And helping others Bruce does! “I fill in my open time through the week with volunteering as a driver for the Victorian Order of Nurses, (VON) and each Friday morning deliver food to 3 schools for Food4Kids. Food4Kids deliver weekend food for kids at 19 schools” says Bruce.
Helping others is a common theme in Bruce’s life and that theme also weaves in Bruce’s love of driving. In addition to utilizing his Jeep Cherokee for food deliveries, “ I love to drive my Mazda Miata with the top down, as I am a member of the Trillium Miata Club, we have county tours almost every weekend to Zoom, Zoom.” says Bruce.
Bruce’s love of driving, community and volunteering are connected like a well-oiled engine revving up to meet the need through his belief in ‘Service above Self’.
“Come and join us” says Bruce, “it is so good for the soul!”
Thank you, Bruce. Your generosity of spirit shines bright.
Learn more about The SEED, how to access food and volunteer, visit theseedguelph.ca