On December 22, 2022, just before the massive snowstorm hit the Midwest, Jaelin Roseman, Lynn Zettler, Laura Shanahan, and I had the opportunity to work at Second Helpings to prepare sandwiches for the local Indianapolis community. This was my first time working at Second Helpings, and it was a wonderful experience. I was blown away by both the scale of their operation, and how quickly and efficiently their team can work despite making hundreds of meals in only a matter of hours. Shortly after our arrival, we were put to work in the prep room to make as many sandwiches as possible; the goal was 1,400 and I think we got close! 

The best part about working at Second Helpings was getting the chance to interact with the employees at the facility. I worked with a woman named Michelle who was employed at Second Helpings for a little over two years, and she couldn’t help but brag about Second Helpings’ work environment and how the organization gave her a second chance when she struggled to find employment. Second Helpings is without a doubt a well-oiled machine and is a company that’s very intentional about preserving food and giving back to the community. 

With kindness being the company’s theme for 2023, I couldn’t help but think about the relationship between an act of kindness and the intentionality of the act itself. Kindness comes in many different forms, and I personally dislike it when I see people posting videos of themselves doing something kind for others. Sure, it’s a nice gesture, but the intention sometimes comes across as selfish. Often, it feels like the person posting the video wants others to give them props for being a good person. Being kind to others and volunteering is a sincerely fun activity and it doesn’t always have to be documented. As such, the frequency with which we choose to volunteer shouldn’t be limited either.  I feel incredibly privileged to work for a company that makes volunteering a priority, and I hope to use my experience from Second Helpings to volunteer more throughout the year. Here’s to being kind and being intentional about it!