Each month, a volunteer at SFBFS is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month’s volunteer spotlight is:
Barbara Carvalho-Lehmann - October 2014
Western Health Advantage’s 21st annual Run to Feed the Hungry will be on Thanksgiving Day this November and Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) is looking for 500 volunteers to support this epic event. Volunteers help runners with check-in, help distribute bibs and shirts and hand out water and snacks to runners once they’ve completed the course.
Barbara Carvalho-Lehmann, a long-time philanthropist working to help gather and distribute groceries to families in need, has been a regular volunteer in SFBFS’ Food program since 2003 and began volunteering at Run to Feed the Hungry in 2005.
Barbara can usually be found handing out water, sports drinks, fruit and snack bars to runners once they have completed the course. “It’s really exciting to be handing out water to people who have just completed a 5K or 10K. I especially like being able to give out fruit,” she says, an avid supporter of SFBFS’ efforts to distribute fresh, local produce to the community.
Run to Feed the Hungry is on Barbara’s calendar each year, right after SFBFS’ Turkey Distribution. “It’s really nice getting all of the new volunteers out at these holiday events,” says Barbara. “We try to talk them into coming out to SFBFS during the rest of the year because people are hungry all year round, not just during the holiday season.”
With over 28,500 people in attendance for this Sacramento tradition, Barbara particularly enjoys watching the variety of people who are crossing the finish line. “I love seeing all of the families with their strollers, small children and pets. The kids are just so excited to be doing this activity as a family, and they’re doing it on Thanksgiving so, from there, they go to their homes and continue the celebration.”
“For me, I think that the year that it rained was a memorable experience – volunteers weren’t ready for that. We were wet, the runners were wet and everyone’s hair was dripping from the rain but the smiles on everyone’s faces! They just ignored the rain and said ‘Oh that was so much fun!’ You didn’t see any unhappy people. Everybody was very joyful. While we were thanking the runners, they were thanking us for handing out water and that’s an extremely good feeling. To know that you’re doing this on Thanksgiving is something special to be thankful for.”
This year Barbara will be in Connecticut to visit her daughter and grandchildren, their first Thanksgiving together in 20 years. “But for anyone who will be in Sacramento, make sure that you come!” she advocates. “It’s a memorable, fun time, and something that you will never forget!” If walking or running does not sound appealing to you, Barbara asks that you consider volunteering this Thanksgiving.
Volunteers will also be needed for crowd control at the starting line and finish line, making sure runners are in the right place for 5K and 10K, preventing runners from bottlenecking at the finish line, and, of course, cheering them on in their final stretch. Additionally, volunteer course monitors will be placed throughout the course while brandishing signs of encouragement, cheering the runners on and ensuring the overall safety of the course.
Are you interested in being part of Run to Feed the Hungry this year? Volunteers can begin signing up for this event the Volunteer Calendar on October 10.
Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights: