SFBFS Volunteer Spotlight – October 2012
Brain Trieu, a senior at Jesuit High School, needed 50 hours of community service in order to graduate. After reviewing a list of service organizations where he could fulfill his hours, Brian chose Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS).
During the summer Brian could be found assisting SFBFS’ staff members in almost every program. By the end of the summer Brian had accumulated over 145 volunteer hours with SFBFS, well above his 50 hour requirement.
“There’s just a sense of community at SFBFS. It’s like a very large family and I just love being here,” Brian said.
In SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden, Brian assisted with the upkeep and general maintenance of the garden. From weeding, harvesting, transplanting, watering and composting, to building trellises and setting up gardening workshops, Brian was able to rediscover his passion for nature.
Brian says he has always appreciated the complexity of nature and would like to pursue a career in medicine. Through his time volunteering at SFBFS, Brian reaffirmed his dreams of helping others.
“I find compassion [for others] a virtue gained only by direct experience and exposure. Through service can we witness the adversities of others with clarity and understanding,” Brian said.
During his time volunteering in SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden, Brian was able to interact with SFBFS’ clients, make friends with other volunteers and watch the seedlings that he planted grow into maturity every week.
Greg Norrish, SFBFS’ Garden Coordinator, said that Brian is a volunteer whose personality and work ethic make him a distinguishable and enjoyable volunteer. “Brian goes the extra mile every day he shows up in the garden. We have a list of daily tasks that need to be done and Brian always completes things we haven’t got to yet. His perspective shows that he really cares about the work in SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden,” Greg said.
During the summer, Brian regained his gardening spirit through exposure to items in SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden including fruits (figs, Chinese apple, pear, and cherry), vegetables (carrots, beets, onions, cabbage, kale, beans, tomatoes, squash, dill, and rosemary) and flowers.
The labor that Brian, and other volunteers, put into the garden paid off and by the end of the summer SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden became a visual masterpiece.
“[SFBFS’ Demonstration Garden] is a very hard thing to miss, because it is lovely, colorful and stands out in contrast to the grayish city surroundings. [The Garden] gives a sense of hope and appreciation for life,” Brian said.
Brian is taking a full course load of classes at Jesuit this year including, AP English, Physics, Calculus, Civics, Holocaust and AP French. However, even with his busy schedule and school year ahead, Brian said that he will make the effort to visit SFBFS and continue to volunteer.
“Volunteering helps you feel at peace,” Brian said, “When I volunteer and work together with others I get satisfaction.”
Disclosure: Jessy Wei is an Americorps VISTA at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.