System Messages

 

Each year the staff at Food For Thought gather to choose a volunteer who exemplifies the spirit, devotion and commitment of our crew of over 500 volunteers. This is never an easy task because we have the best volunteers in Sonoma County. How to select just one from the hundreds of hard-working folks who keep our doors open every day, our events staffed, and the food coming in and going out?  This year it took two – we are delighted to announce that we have chosen to honor partners in life and volunteering, Rodney DeMartini and Frederick Kasl.

Both men were initially drawn to FFT following a long time dedication to AIDS education and activism. Rodney came to the food bank seven years ago after leaving his active ministry as a priest. Volunteering can be a selfish act – we gain more than we give. Rodney began volunteering as a step in his own healing process.  He showed up to volunteer as a food fairy, and found a wonderful giving family spirit that nourished his soul. Rodney now devotes countless hours as the head of Food For Thought’s Finance Committee, leads the way on our Human Race team, co- chairs the annual campaign but  claims the best way for him to stay grounded is during his regular Saturday shift “staying cool” by organizing food in the freezer and “keeping humble” by cleaning the bathrooms.

His partner Frederick joined the crew six years ago as a volunteer at Calabash after years of AIDS activism and involvement in Southern California. He was soon recruited for our Board of Directors heading up the strategic plan and continues today as Board Vice President. With the spirit of a teenage, Frederick brings sparkle and enthusiasm to the all projects he is a part of: Program Committee, Celebration Pathway, Calabash, and working behind the scenes in the office and on our annual campaign.  Frederick first responded to the AIDS pandemic years ago when newspaper reports appeared concerning the new “gay cancer.” His mantra has always been, “You just do what you have to do, and you go to it and get it done.” He has brought that same determination and focus to his work at Food For Thought.

Frederick and Rodney have long understood that their relationship needed to include family and friends in order to grow and persevere. They both agree that being involved together at Food For Thought has expanded their relationships. Their social network revolves around their family of friends at FFT and has changed their lives in positive ways. Their lives continue to embrace family and a diverse group of loving friends with whom they share food and fun. Here at the food bank we firmly believe that feeding people is a basic spiritual act and these two epitomize that spirituality.  They have run the Rural Food Project for 26 years in Occidental, feeding 120 local families each month. It’s not surprising that their favorite activity at FFT is cooking for and eating with clients, volunteers and staff during the holidays

volunteers, food for thought, food bank, giving, couples, two, Occidental

Rodney DeMartini and Frederick Kasl — Our Volunteers of the Year for 2011! It takes Two!

Each year the staff at Food For Thought gather to choose a volunteer who exemplifies the spirit, devotion and commitment of our crew of over 500 volunteers. This is never an easy task because we have the best volunteers in Sonoma County. How to select just one from the hundreds of hard-working folks who keep our doors open every day, our events staffed, and the food coming in and going out?  This year it took two – we are delighted to announce that we have chosen to honor partners in life and volunteering, Rodney DeMartini and Frederick Kasl.

 

Both men were initially drawn to FFT following a long time dedication to AIDS education and activism. Rodney came to the food bank seven years ago after leaving his active ministry as a priest. Volunteering can be a selfish act – we gain more than we give. Rodney began volunteering as a step in his own healing process.  He showed up to volunteer as a food fairy, and found a wonderful giving family spirit that nourished his soul. Rodney now devotes countless hours as the head of Food For Thought’s Finance Committee, leads the way on our Human Race team, co- chairs the annual campaign but  claims the best way for him to stay grounded is during his regular Saturday shift “staying cool” by organizing food in the freezer and “keeping humble” by cleaning the bathrooms.

His partner Frederick joined the crew six years ago as a volunteer at Calabash after years of AIDS activism and involvement in Southern California. He was soon recruited for our Board of Directors heading up the strategic plan and continues today as Board Vice President. With the spirit of a teenage, Frederick brings sparkle and enthusiasm to the all projects he is a part of: Program Committee, Celebration Pathway, Calabash, and working behind the scenes in the office and on our annual campaign.  Frederick first responded to the AIDS pandemic years ago when newspaper reports appeared concerning the new “gay cancer.” His mantra has always been, “You just do what you have to do, and you go to it and get it done.” He has brought that same determination and focus to his work at Food For Thought.

Frederick and Rodney have long understood that their relationship needed to include family and friends in order to grow and persevere. They both agree that being involved together at Food For Thought has expanded their relationships. Their social network revolves around their family of friends at FFT and has changed their lives in positive ways. Their lives continue to embrace family and a diverse group of loving friends with whom they share food and fun. Here at the food bank we firmly believe that feeding people is a basic spiritual act and these two epitomize that spirituality.  They have run the Rural Food Project for 26 years in Occidental, feeding 120 local families each month. It’s not surprising that their favorite activity at FFT is cooking for and eating with clients, volunteers and staff during the holidays