The Gift of Giving – Our Food Bank Volunteering Experience
We’ve all been given by our Almighty God the gift of being human, which gives us the beautiful capacity to live, to love, to grow and to give to others. We have the gift of giving – a key to happiness, the gift of the drive – the insatiable hunger to succeed, and the gift of love – the unlimited power to care for and connect with others with our fullest hearts.
The Secret to Living a Truly Happy Life is Giving.
You can give to yourself so that you have more to give to others. You can give to your family, your friends, your coworkers. But also it’s nice to be able to give to strangers. One of the greatest creators of fulfillment is when you help a stranger in need, someone that you don’t even know. Those gestures come from a place of absolute love, empathy, unselfishness, and true care. When you change someone else’s life, you change yours, too.
This holiday season our team at Dreams Animation had an amazing opportunity to experience the gift of giving and serving others. While some of our bees were buzzing in the office taking care of projects, 6 of our team members led by our Creative Director Ricardo Diaz De La Vega spent the day at the Food Bank in Harlem. When we arrived early in the morning we were a little lost not knowing what to do or to expect, but right away we were greeted by a Food Bank staff who gave us a brief introduction and orientation, we learned our assignments were preparing meals in the first half and serving hot food in the second half of the day. We went down to the kitchen in the basement to cut lots of cauliflowers and sorted tilapia for dinner service, while cauliflower and tilapia were being cooked by other volunteers we moved on to packing over 140 cold and hot to-go meals along with milk, orange juice and bananas for a snack. In the end, we cleaned, washed and sanitized all the utensils and our work stations.
At lunchtime, there were over 60 people that come in for lunch and we had the pleasure to serve them hot meals with tea or coffee. Some of us were putting the meals together on a tray, others serving or cleaning up. At the same time our team members Giuseppe and Ricardo were at the door giving out to-go meal bags we have prepped previously. Each person that came in was different. You could see that they had been through such harsh circumstances, but so many stayed so pure. It broke our hearts, but also gave us a sense of hope. They were so grateful and happy to have a hot meal which most of the time we miss to even notice. It was a miraculous day for them because today they had food to eat and take home for dinner.
This experience was not only rewarding to us but awakening as well. It has taught us a lot of things that we will deal with in everyday life. Such as being grateful and appreciative of what we have and who we have in our lives, being kind to one another, proper time management, doing work efficiently, treating people with respect – no matter the social background, educational level, or economic status of the person. It also has been an amazing team-building experience where we learned to value each other, we got closer as a family and we had the privilege and opportunity to give back and we became more.
When we grow, we have more to give.
And when we give to others, our lives become more meaningful.
Progress equals happiness.
This is why they say that the key to success is the gift of giving.
A Huge Thanks to everyone at Food Bank in Harlem for giving us the chance to be part of their day. The work this organization does is beyond what I can explain. May God bless each worker, supporter and behind-the-scene people at Food Bank USA. We were so blessed that we had been able to meet wonderful people & hear incredible stories.
Lastly, a Special Thanks to our team at Dreams Animation. We are very proud of every single member of our Dreams Animation Team-Family. It’s an honor to work & grow together. May God Bless our team & families, our clients & customers of our clients.
Nucha Diaz De La Vega
Chief Operations Manager