Volunteer Appreciation: Miriam & Danny

April 20, 2023

Volunteer Appreciation: Miriam & Danny

We are deeply grateful for the work of our volunteers, without whom we couldn’t fulfill our mission to transform lives. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and to celebrate, we’ll be sharing stories about these incredible individuals. Stories will be posted here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.   

The Kosher Food Pantry serves all and is open Monday and Wednesday from 11-2. It is unique in that it is one of the few food pantries in the Southeast that provides kosher foods, ensuring clients do not have to compromise their religious traditions due to financial limitations. We recently connected with longtime volunteer Miriam Saul about her time with the KFP.

How did you first hear about JF&CS, and the Kosher Food Pantry?

I had known of JF&CS for a while. My mom had had senior services for my father as he suffered from Alzheimer’s. Rabbi Judith Beiner became a teacher for a Jewish Ladies class that we began during the pandemic. Both my husband and I stopped working during the pandemic and did not go back. I’ve always volunteered and love working for needy communities. As we were looking for a place to give our time to, the Food Pantry became a natural choice.

How long have you been volunteering with the KFP, and what drew you to volunteer in this role?

It’s been a little over 2 years. What drew me to the pantry is that I saw there was a need for Spanish speaking volunteers since many of our clients are immigrants from Spanish speaking countries. I also wanted my husband to be involved and there was a definite need for male volunteers.

What are some things you enjoy about volunteering with your spouse?

Volunteering together is very enjoyable. There are so many things that we do apart from each other; it is nice to share an activity where we can both be productive and give back.

What keeps you coming back to volunteer, year after year?

Volunteer work has always been a part of what I do. While I was teaching; I was also organizing and taking groups to Cuba to help the Jewish Community and other communities in need there. I consider myself very blessed and think it is important to help others! At the Kosher Food Pantry, you can meet the people you are helping. We get to know them and follow their lives.

Have you made any special connections you’d like to share? Or do you have any remarkable stories from your time volunteering?

We have made many connections and new friendships. Everyone gets along and pulls together to run a smooth operation.

One story comes to mind. A woman came to the pantry and shared that she was very embarrassed to have to ask for help. She had recently been abandoned by her husband. She’d had her own business and had been successful but was starting all over again. It was so wonderful later when she sent me a message that she had found a wonderful job and had her own apartment! She was so grateful that we had made her feel comfortable in her time of need and wanted to tell us of her wonderful new life. Clients are so grateful.