You must be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
This is without a doubt one of my favorite quotes. I absolutely love the idea that in order to help the world become a better place, one needs to influence positive change around them using not only their words but actions as well.
An organization that has consistently modeled this idea since its founding is Senior Gleaners, Inc. (SGI). SGI began in 1976 when a group of 30 concerned senior citizens met to discuss the alarming amount of food being wasted when simultaneously there were a growing number of hungry people within the community. Their solution was to glean, or gather the useful remnants of a crop from the field after harvesting, from rich fields and orchards in California. The idea was a success and prior to merging with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) in 2014; SGI grew substantially into a nonprofit with more than 2,000 senior volunteers ranging from ages 50 to 96 in 1994. This hard working group of community members distributed food boxes and opened soup kitchens to assist their community.
Since the merger, SFBFS has continued the amazing mission a few seniors began in 1976. Now working out of the former SGI distribution center here in Sacramento, SFBFS would like to honor the legacy of SGI by creating a display at the very same building that the organization made it’s start. I have the honor of creating that wall with assistance from SFBFS’ communication team and am excited at the opportunity to showcase some of the amazing work SGI accomplished in years past. I spend a good portion of my day sorting through mountains of notes, photos and awards the organization received in its time and one thing is very apparent to me; this group of volunteers worked very hard and they also believed in and enjoyed the work that they were a part of. Photos of smiling volunteers serving food to the community and others of them hard at work in the fields and orchards were abundant among the albums. This gave me a clear idea of the values of SGI - hard work, community and the idea that it’s never too late to be a positive change in the world. I’m excited to complete this project and share their passion through this legacy wall. Stay tuned for photos!
Maurice Elamrani, SFBFS Communications Intern