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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Jay Bainbridge

Bringing positive energy to the volunteer workplace.

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard provides healthy groceries to over 1,800 patrons each week- and relies on its 130 volunteers to help organize, distribute and educate their clients about nutrition and food. Jay Bainbridge, a former addictions counselor at Amethyst House has used his caring and willing spirit for volunteerism to help families that are going through a challenging period in their life.

Volunteer Jay Bainbridge Twice a week Jay will pick up food from Hoosier Hills Food Bank and deliver it to MHC's food pantry. Loading hundreds of pounds of food onto carts, into his van, and then unloading it at the pantry, Jay has shown his consistent routine can always be relied on when hundreds are depending on him.

Not only does Jay demonstrate diligent work, but also uses humor, compassion and friendly conversation to encourage and enlighten other volunteers. Whether it is a new joke, sports talk or life anecdotes, Jay always brings light into conversation and entertains other volunteers and clients when he is working. Many consider his working hours as their "Jay time," and look forward to his weekly visits to give a positive energy in their environment.

The time and energy that Jay puts in each week has been invaluable to MHC- they estimate that Jay saves them thousands of dollars a year for his unpaid labor, money that can be put directly back into supporting the nonprofit system. Brooke Gentile has recognized Jay for his dedication to the needs of families around Bloomington. Jay "pours thoughtful aspects of himself into all his interactions with MHC volunteers, clients and staff, making each moment not only fun, but also warm and very real."

Learn more about how to get involved as a volunteer with Mother Hubbard's Cupboard here.

8/19/2009