For any nonprofit, finding and keeping dedicated volunteers can be one of the most difficult and worthwhile goals. Once you find those special individuals, you hang on, keep them close and try and engage them in your mission.
When it comes to Andy Schneider, you couldn’t keep him any closer or more engaged.
Schneider spent 18 years as a donor and volunteer. He was the man the Foodbank could turn to when a shift at a telethon was unfilled or there was a need for support and assistance for Empty Bowls. Then, when the volunteer coordinator position opened, Schneider stepped up once again.
“I thought, wow, what a fit. I’m really lucky,” Schneider said.
The “fit” Schneider’s talking about is his passion for the mission of the Foodbank. That passion has kept him coming back for nearly two decades, and has led to a hands-on involvement in moving that mission forward – now as an employee for The Idaho Foodbank.
“Without even knowing people here, everyone needs food. I’m all about that. Everyone needs connected to food. Then I got the privilege of knowing people here and everyone here gives 110 percent. It’s a dedicated group and something I believe in, so it was natural,” he said.
He’s joined in his office by Heather Chenoweth, another longtime-volunteer-turned-employee for the holiday season. She said she thinks Schneider’s background in service will go a long way in lining up future volunteers.
“That makes a big difference,” Chenoweth said. “It’s very important. You have to be connected to the mission or I don’t know how successful anyone would be at their job. It’s neat to be here and see the whole operation. I only came in one or two days a week before, but now being here almost every day, it’s nice to get to know these regulars who I didn’t know before.”
Schneider, joining the Foodbank as the busiest time for volunteers and support hits the calendar, said he’s ready to get his feet wet and help support Idahoans in need.
“It’s so fun,” he says. “I belong. I belong here, doing this kind of work.”