December is a chilly month this year, and Food Forward still can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside when thinking about our volunteer of the month. Chris Molina is an inspiration to us all here in the Fruit Cave, and we want the whole world to know! He called Food Forward in early September of 2013 asking if he could arrange for a small group of Pepperdine University students to volunteer at one of our events several times per month. Then, with the sole purpose of helping the community and engaging his fellow students to fight hunger in Los Angeles, Chris single-handedly started to organize, advertise, reserve a van for, and lead a troop of students through the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. They began to come out a few times a month for gleaning at the markets and picking in backyards and at the Huntington Gardens, and came with smiles and helping hands whenever they could. We’re so happy that people like Christopher are in this world and in LA, and can’t wait to see what amazing projects he’ll move forward in the future!
Here’s what Chris has to say:
I am currently a Junior at Pepperdine University and I am involved with the Pepperdine volunteer center. I was looking for organizations to work with that had a focus on addressing the issue of hunger in California. I was fortunate enough to come across Food Forward, and I have been involved on a regular basis since.
I am currently a Psychology Major with a Social work minor at Pepperdine and my passion is to get students on campus involved with local causes that address issues like hunger. I currently coordinate a program that tries to get college students involved with organizations like Food Share.
My favorite site to glean is always the Hollywood Farmer’s market. The first time I went I was blown away by the generosity of the farmers that offered their produce for donation. I also love how there are so many interesting things to see and do in the area too. I just love the fast pace and handling such a large amount of donations on a regular basis. Normally when I go we deliver produce to an organization right across the street from where we sort the produce. The people that receive the produce are so grateful. It’s amazing to see that your work makes a real difference, one that you can actually witness.
Any wisdom to pass on?
I would just encourage people to follow their passions and do something that is meaningful for them, because that’s where your greatest source of satisfaction will be found. I would also pass on the wisdom that was relayed to me as a child and has stuck with me since then. Be nice to others, share with others, and treat others the way you would like to be treated.