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By Darlene Sweeney, Director of Volunteer Services

This year is fast coming to a close and I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t thank all our wonderful volunteers. Our volunteers represent all backgrounds, stages and seasons of life, but they have one thing in common: a servant’s heart. Our team at SVdP Indy is so grateful for each one. Because of our volunteers, we are able to serve more neighbors at the 30th Street Food Pantry and Distribution Center than ever before.

During 2023, we have enjoyed a tremendous increase in the number of groups that contacted us to serve together. These were not only church, youth and service groups, but businesses of all sizes—and many joining with us for the first time. Volunteering at SVdP Indy with your work colleagues is a great team-building activity that brings you together for a united purpose beyond your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

“Volunteering as a form of team building gives an opportunity for people in different job functions or with different skill sets to work towards a common goal that they may not have otherwise had an opportunity to do in an office setting,” says Aaron Ransdell, Manager, Electronic Service Tools and Systems, Allison Transmission. “For example, a program manager, a sales representative, a business analyst, and an engineer may never have an opportunity to work as a team in the office setting because their job functions pull them in different directions. But when all are focused on a common goal such as repackaging a few pallets of produce or keeping the food bins stocked, there is teamwork needed that the group may otherwise not have shared.”

Volunteering at SVdP Indy also connects you in a deeper purpose and gives you a greater awareness of the needs of our community. Just a few hours in our Food Pantry or Distribution Center helps you understand how many people rely on SVdP Indy for food, household goods, financial assistance and a friendly face.

“Through our volunteering with St. Vincent de Paul, we get a first-hand look at struggles affecting our neighbors,” Aaron says. “We also get to experience the impact we make by being able to hear and feel their gratitude.”

Helping others is a privilege and an honor. I believe it is in our hands to create a better world for all who live in it. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of others, especially those in need.

Many of our corporate groups come during the work week with their employers giving them paid time off to volunteer together. What a terrific example they are setting for the rest of us! The groups leave with a deeper appreciation for their company, their colleagues and their community.

We hope you will consider joining us in 2024 to help our neighbors. You can help us sort and repackage food, load groceries in trunks, or sort clothing and household goods, etc. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, more productive, and meaningful.

Perhaps your New Year’s resolution could be to contact me to find out how you and your company or organization can make our community a better place for ALL who live in it. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at