“Local Hunger Fighters” is a series that spotlights our awesome supporters and staff who help raise awareness of hunger in our community and motivate people to get involved.
Local Hunger Fighters: Bao-Chau Le, Volunteer Health Ambassador
How are you helping Second Harvest and our community?
I live in the Bay Area and after some research, it’s amazing to discover that there are many families in need of assistance, especially with basic food/grocery. After moving back from grad school in Southern California, I searched for a program where I could volunteer when I had some time off from work. I came across Second Harvest Food Bank and its Health Ambassador program. I live a relatively healthy lifestyle, eating fruits and vegetables, and exercising on a regular basis. So, on a quiet Saturday, I went to the training with a group of diverse individuals. We went out to different sites to educate families about healthy food choices and how those choices impact their overall well-being.
What inspires you to give?
I came to the U.S. when I was young and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to live in the Bay Area. My family and I relied heavily on free community programs and services during our 1st year here. We got groceries from churches, Christmas presents and mini back-to-school shopping sprees from local businesses, to name a few. We even came across free interpretation services that helped us fill out forms for schools and jobs. My family and I were very thankful for that. From then on, I made a promise to myself that I would give back when I have the opportunity.
I started doing volunteer work during middle school by helping out with school events or singing for the elderly on the weekends. That progressed during high school, college, and grad school through soup kitchens, Saturday health fairs, and clinic work. I believe that you can always help out, no matter how big or small it is. There is always someone that will benefit and appreciate your volunteer service – whether it’s helping to carry groceries for elders or just giving a small amount of time to educate the community about health and wellness. My friends asked me why I continue to volunteer when it’s not counted for school or work. I simply answered, “Because I want to and because there are many people who need others to help them get back on track.” I hope to inspire others to give a bit of their time as well.
Why should people care about hunger in our community?
When we say we are from America, many people around world think that we have it all and that life is wonderful. It is in some sense, but sometimes we forget that we are all human and we all have obstacles during our lifetime. I think if you can just close your eyes for a minute and imagine your life without having basic necessities in front of you or even just enough food for you and your family, would you feel overwhelmed and stressed out? Yes! Hunger is actually a big issue, but most people are caught up in their own lives to realize that there are many less fortunate members in the community. Our community needs volunteers, even if it’s just 2-3 hours a week. The impact is tremendous after seeing smiles on the people’s faces because they are very happy to see that even with the busy lifestyles many of us have, we are still able to contribute to the community.
Why do you support Second Harvest?
I support Second Harvest because they create opportunities for the community to come together – the young, old, and in between. As long as you have a positive attitude and believe that your time helps the clients, you’re set! Second Harvest helps anyone who is looking for support in their time of need.
***Click here to find out how you can help feed our neighbors in need.