Family Service Project: Food Bank of Corpus Christi

We’re about to get to work, but first let us take a #selfie!

Olivia asked each one of us in the Dugan household if we would be interested in serving as a family at the Food Bank of Corpus Christi. To her surprise, we each said, yes! We woke up early on a Saturday morning, and helped ourselves to breakfasts of cereal, eggs, and toast. I brewed up some coffee. It’s dark roasted aroma perked us up once it hit our nostrils. Once we were dressed for a day’s work, we piled into the GMC pick up and drove across town to meet up with other families from Asbury Mothers of Preschoolers (M.O.P.S.) and Yorktown Baptist M.O.P.S.
Checking the packaging and expiration before boxing.
We were greeted by a pleasant staff member of the Food Bank who assigned us into two groups. She thanked us for coming to help, and explained that it is only when they have large groups like this they can achieve large bulk work like what we were going to do. One group would inspect pre-cooked frozen and refrigerated foods like bacon, sausages, pizza, etc. The second group would inspect the packaging of frozen meats like poultry and beef. These items were placed into boxes weighing between 20 and 40 pounds, then placed on pallets to go out to various local agencies like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and where I work, Women’s Shelter of South Texas which is a battered women’s shelter and rape crisis center serving a 12-county area around Corpus Christi.
Something to do in the Summer?
Jacob’s Instagram post while
he was taking a break.
It was rewarding to see our family working together to make a positive impact in our community. What I truly enjoyed seeing was the impact the experience had on my children like when Jacob took a moment to post on Instagram about how accomplished he felt for doing this work. Emma asked if we could do this on a regular basis.

We’re now talking about doing this, or service projects like this, as a family throughout the summer vacation.

Tips if you do a family service project
  • Make sure the work, time scheduled, and setting is age appropriate. You don’t want to show up with young children and find out they are more of a liability than a help. The service time will be cut short, and no one benefits from the failed commitment. Call ahead, be honest, and ask questions.
  • Stick to the commitment. Unfortunately, volunteers are notorious for showing up late, taking off early, and leaving a mess in their wake. Non-profit organizations need to commit staff and resources to support volunteers who do arrive, we have a negative impact when we do less than we said we would and create a mess that requires clean up afterwards. Show up early, work the entire time your family committed to work, and ask if there is anything else your family can do before you leave. This will teach your kids a lot about delivering excellent service, and going the extra mile.

From out of the freezer to the sorting tables.
  • Show up with a cheerful heart to serve. Ever been to a restaurant or other business where the person helping you had a bad attitude? While you can’t really do anything to change that person’s outlook on life, you do have an opportunity to teach your children to not be “that guy”. Family service projects are chock full of teachable moments. Serving with a cheerful heart sets an example of having a positive attitude in the workplace.
  • Give your best effort. Just because it is free work does not mean you have to do a cruddy job. You make the world a better place when you do work that you’re willing to associate your name. Plus, there is the double benefit of showing and building a good work ethic in our children.
Frozen meat…cold hands.

Let your children know before and after the service project how the work they are doing is helping others. Knowing why are we are doing anything is important for succeeding in what we do for the long haul.

Has your family done a service project together? Share your experience in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Family Service Project: Food Bank of Corpus Christi

  1. Jerry, What a great blog post about volunteering with kids. The tips you provided are very helpful to anyone looking to do something like this with their own kids or youth groups of any kind. I think the challenge for those of us working with youth is finding organizations and service projects that are willing to let youth help out. It’s also important for parents and for youth leaders to make sure they have enough “hands” to help out. Remember, youth get tired. A four hour shift can get tiring for the younger kids so it’s important to keep age in mind when setting up service projects. Thanks again for sharing your experience with us as it is inspirational especially seeing how your kids reacted to making a difference! Blessings to you all.

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