National Day of Service

When I am not updating this blog or spending time with my family and friends, I sit behind a desk as a Program Manager at Cisco Systems.  Cisco is great about volunteering and giving back.  Once a quarter, my team decides how we want to donate our time.   We’ve done things from preparing food to building a house and we always feel great after we’ve spent the day being selfless.


My team!!

I know we all remember the morning of September 11, 2001.  You probably remember exactly what you were doing when the first plane hit.  It’s something we will never forget.  Because of that tragic day, 9/11 has been named National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Last Thursday, The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina partnered with several Triangle companies, including Cisco, to package meals for families at risk of hunger.  Over a 1,000 people gathered in a warehouse in RTP (Raleigh Triangle Park) to sort and bag over 150,000 meals.

This was by far one of the best organized events I have participated in.  It started with an opening ceremony, including a few words from Governor Pat McCrory.


Governor Pat McCrory

Once the open ceremony was complete, all of the volunteers scattered to their assigned bins.  The bins contained rice, beans or pasta and there were 4 to 6 volunteers per bin.


All of the volunteers at their bins.

I was assigned to a bin full of rice, along with three other volunteers.  We had to scoop 5 cups of rice into bags. I have no idea how many bags we completed but it was A LOT.


Our bin full of rice.

Once the bags were full, we placed them in another box.


Bags of rice.

We completed two bins of rice then scattered to help others complete their bins.

It may not sound like fun, but I truly enjoyed myself.  It felt great knowing that I was doing something to prevent a family of going hungry.  It was a reminder to not take things for granted.  That while I have my own struggles, I have a roof over my head and food in my stomach.  That’s more than a lot of people have and I am grateful.

I hope you take a moment today and remember to be grateful for what you have.  I also hope that you take some time out of your busy life and help others.  It will make you feel like a new person.

Here’s to giving back!



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