Each month, a volunteer at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month's volunteer spotlight is:

Joan sorts and organizes donated baby items in the boutique.

Joan sorts and organizes donated baby items in the boutique.

Joan Blaise - June 2017

If you are looking for a way to fill your days or evenings, chances are that Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) has an opportunity for you. SFBFS’ services are made possible by a talented and diverse corps of volunteers, some of which are retired and now sharing their skills and time with the community. SFBFS is fortunate to have volunteers such as Joan Blaise, who joined SFBFS after wrapping up her career with the US Postal Service. Because she lives nearby, Joan knew about SFBFS and signed up for a volunteer orientation in April 2014. Soon, she was a regular volunteer in the Demonstration Garden and at food distributions. Because Joan also helps care for her granddaughter, flexibility of volunteer roles also attracted her to these opportunities.

In the Demonstration Garden, Joan assists with all aspects of garden maintenance, including planting seeds, transplanting, weeding, watering and harvesting. Throughout a change in staff, Joan remained the one constant volunteer presence in the garden. She loves the hands-on aspect of working with the plants and soil and seeing the crops grow from start to finish. At food distributions, Joan distributes fresh grocery items to families and individuals. A little over a year ago, Joan decided to expand her volunteer involvement and began volunteering in the Parent Education program.

In Parent Education, Joan found her niche in the Boutique, where parents exchange their earned Baby Bucks for free items such as diapers, baby and maternity clothing, toys and other baby supplies. Joan sorts donations, organizes the shopping area and displays, but most of all, assists the families.

“I love watching the joy on the faces of the babies and kids,” she says. “It is fun to watch the kids play with new toys they don’t normally have access to.” According to Gabriela Lopez, Parent Education Program Manager, Joan is a wonderful part of the volunteer team. “Joan is responsible and consistent,” notes Gabriela. “She makes sure the Boutique is tidy and clean and also helps clients find specific items they are looking for. I completely trust Joan to make decisions in the Boutique if I am not available to help.” Because SFBFS staff relies 100% on volunteers to staff the Boutique, volunteers such as Joan are invaluable. She helps keep the Boutique open and available to families for evening service every week. 

When Joan isn’t volunteering at SFBFS, she can be found having fun with her granddaughter, knitting and crocheting blankets for the Linus Project and undergoing new volunteer training for Sacramento Tree Foundation. SFBFS is grateful to have incredibly dedicated individuals such as Joan in our volunteer corps.

Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights:

December 2014 - Raina Graves
November 2014 - Anna Guzavety
September 2014 - Lisa Wolfman
August 2014 - Edie Blackshire
July 2014 - Marcella Ramirez
June 2014 - Christine Trillo
May 2014 - Michelle Garcia
April 2014 - Linda Von Schoech
March 2014 - Rosalie Ferguson
February 2014 - Kimberly Swenson
January 2014 - Nana Djunga

June 2017 - Joan Blaise
May 2017 - Annette Kitowski
April 2017 - Jim Weske
March 2017 - Andrew and Arcade Church
February 2017 - Minnie Jimenez
January 2017 - Jake Henshaw

December 2016 - Trish Henderson
November 2016 - Jacinto
October 2016 - Cristo Rey student interns
September 2016 - Laurie Owens
August 2016 - Karen O'Hara
July 2016 - Teresa Suter
June 2016 - Jennifer Tillman
May 2016 - Ms. Joyce
May 2016 - Dan Decious
April 2016 - Pat,Judy, Steve & Ted
March 2016 - Gloria Clark
February 2016 - Sydney Donnell
January 2016 - Sarah Cheung

December 2015 - Hattie Lagrimas
November 2015 - Chariss Fong
October 2015 - Bette Simpson
September 2015 - The Green Family
August 2015 - Katie Price
July 2015 - Ric Burwell
June 2015 - Eugene Asampong-Oduro
April 2015 - Makoto Hawkins
March 2015 - Dustin Richardson
February 2015 - Teri Weesner
January 2015 - Alec Gonzales