This Volunteer Appreciation Month, we’re celebrating one of our most passionate volunteers, Mary Best Pacsi.
The day after she retired, Mary Beth Pacsi knew she had to find something to fill her new-found time. A few weeks later, she was at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee seeing how she could contribute to our mission.
“I was fortunate enough to retire at a young age, and it’s my turn to give back for the blessings that I’ve received,” Mary Beth said.
That was two years ago.
In that short time, Mary Beth has become an invaluable member of our organization—working the front desk, assisting guests in the lobby, and performing administrative tasks. In total, she has donated over 430 hours of service!
“Sheer dedication brings Mary Beth in the door each week,” Brandon Shaw, Former Program Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement, said. “She has truly become a staple in our organization, as she anchors our reception desk team and brings her talents and work ethic to a great many projects at Second Harvest.”
One of Mary Beth’s former projects was serving at the Culinary Arts Center’s cashier table.
The cashier table was a two-person volunteer project, and Mary Beth worked with a different partner almost every shift. No matter who she was working with, Brandon told Mary Beth and her cashier partner that they were his A-Team.
After hearing this one too many times, Mary Beth jokingly called out Brandon and said he must say that to all his volunteers.
Brandon then clarified, “I always tell you that no matter who you’re working with, because any team that has you on it is going to win. YOU are the A-Team.”
In recognition of her volunteer efforts, Mary Beth was nominated for the 2018 Strobel Direct Service Volunteer Award, an award that recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.
However, it’s not just the time she gives that makes Mary Beth a standout volunteer. It’s her passion for our mission.
When you ask Mary Beth why she volunteers at Second Harvest, her voice fills with emotion and a desire to help those in need.
“I believe whole-heartedly in the mission of Second Harvest Food Bank, in serving those who are hungry,” Mary Beth said. “I don’t think anyone, especially kids, should go hungry.”
We’re grateful to have her on our side in the fight against hunger and especially lucky to have her on our volunteer A-Team.