By Sarah Annecone
Jean Cannella and her classmates grew up learning that volunteering was expected of them. She recalls how the priest in her Catholic grammar school would drive a group of them to a long-term care hospital and they would wheel the patients to chapel for Sunday mass. In high school, while living in New Orleans, she tutored children in an orphanage. She’s always been someone to reach out to her community.
BCAP benefits from Jean’s early teaching! Jean has been volunteering with Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP) since early 2013; assisting clients in the Longmont Food Pantry every Thursday from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Jean says her favorite part is listening to the shoppers say what’s been happening in their lives over the two weeks since they last came in. “You can learn a lot about yourself as a volunteer; listening to others, making connections and learning about the human condition.”
Jean says “Small but mighty!” sums up the service provided byBCAP’s Longmont Food Pantry to the community it serves. She is animated when talking about how things are run in BCAP’s Longmont office at 515 Kimbark. “People feel welcome when they arrive. It helps to know people’s names and to look them in the eye. It’s not a scarcity we offer, but an abundance.” She quotes one of BCAP’s clients who recently told her, “You don’t know what this does for my food budget. I use up my food stamps and if it weren’t for you, I’d be hungry.”